Scientific Symposium Co-Chairs

GA2023 Scientific Committee

Steve Brown – GA2023 Scientific Symposium Australian Co-chair

Dr Steve Brown is a Research Associate on the ‘Everyday Heritage’ project at the University of Canberra and a Special Adviser with GML Heritage. I am an Honorary Member of the ICOMOS-IFLA ISC on Cultural Landscapes and a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. I have qualifications and publish in the fields of heritage studies and archaeology. I am excited to be working with the GA2023 team and GA2023 Scientific Symposium participants to create an intellectually and social stimulating, diverse, and memorable event. I live on a 60-hectare rural property that is managed for conservation and love.

Ona Vileikis – GA2023 Scientific Symposium International Co-chair

Ona Vileikis, PhD from KU Leuven, architect and cultural heritage specialist. I am researcher at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL). I also collaborate worldwide with local professionals and government officials, UNESCO, ICCROM, ICESCO, WMF, IICAS, ICOMOS and the private sector, in the fields of capacity building and consulting regarding the World Heritage Convention, digital heritage documentation, conservation and monitoring practices, and heritage impact assessments. I have been serving as advisor to the UNESCO Silk Roads World Heritage nomination for more than a decade. I am also co-editor of the Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development. At ICOMOS I am an expert member of the Executive Committee of CIPA Heritage Documentation and communications officer at the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG). As international co-chair of the GA2023 Scientific Symposium and heading our translations team I promote a diverse and inclusive event. I’m thrilled to work with our team and welcome all participants in Sydney!

Vanicka Arora – Australian Co-chair, RESILIENCE Theme

Vanicka has trained as an architect, with a specialisation in conservation of built heritage. She has over a decade of experience working in India, focusing on urban regeneration, disasters and heritage. She is currently pursuing her doctoral research at Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, where she examines post-disaster reconstruction practices for heritage in Nepal following the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.

Kai Weise – International Co-Chair, RESILIENCE Theme

Kai Weise, a Nepali national of Swiss origin, completed his master’s in architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich and has been working as planner and architect in the Himalayan region. He has facilitated management systems for World Heritage properties such as the Kathmandu Valley, Lumbini, Samarkand, Bagan and more recently for Mrauk U. He was mentor for the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting on the application of the World Heritage Convention of cultural properties in South and Central Asia. Kai Weise was responsible for establishing the response and rehabilitation strategy for the culture sector after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake and the 2016 Chauk earthquake in Myanmar. He is presently President of ICOMOS Nepal and member of ICOMOS International Scientific Committees for Risk Preparedness (ICORP) and 20th Century Heritage (ISC 20C). Kai Weise lectures and writes on architecture, planning and heritage management.

Kate Clark – Australian Co-chair, RESPONSIBILITY Theme

Kate Clark is an industrial archaeologist with a career in museums and heritage policy and leadership. She worked with Ironbridge Gorge Museums, English Heritage, the Heritage Fund and Cadw in the UK, and Sydney Living Museums and Heritage NSW in Australia. She currently holds an AICOMOS scholarship at the University of Canberra, exploring heritage in economic, social and environmental policy.  Kate is passionately interested in how different values shape heritage practice, including public value in heritage organisations. Her latest book, ‘Playing with the Past’, contains c.80 activities and games for trainers, facilitators and communities to explore values in heritage practice.

Susan Macdonald – International Co-chair, RESPONSIBILITY Theme

Susan is the Head, Buildings and Sites at the Getty Conservation Institute, where she is responsible for overseeing a number of international projects that advance conservation practice through research, field projects, dissemination and capacity building on archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, buildings and urban environments. She has worked in the government, private and non-profit sector in Australia, England and the USA. Trained as an architect, she has a MA (Conservation) from the University of York/ ICCROM, Rome and is a certified planner. She is a member and former Vice President of the ICOMOS ISC20.

Cristina Garduño Freeman – Australian Co-chair, RIGHTS Theme

Dr Cristina Garduño Freeman is a Research Fellow in the Australian Centre for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage (ACAHUCH) at University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on people’s connections with places within the fields of architectural history, critical heritage and digital humanities. She excels in interdisciplinary research within the built environment that aims to bridge the HASS-STEM divide by implementing methodologies from social sciences and computing including digital ethnography, visual analysis and data analytics.

In 2017 she published Participatory Culture and the Social Value of an Architectural Icon: Sydney Opera House with Routledge, UK. She is the Secretary of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ), the Australian Co-Chair Shared Cultures Theme, ICOMOS GA2020 Scientific Symposium, and a member of the Editorial Committee (Consejo Editorial), Córima, Revista de Investigación en Gestion Cultural. Before entering academia, she practised professionally in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design, and in visual communication design.

Marco Antonio Chávez Aguayo – International Co-chair, RIGHTS Theme

Dr Marco Antonio Chávez-Aguayo is a Professor at the University of Guadalajara (Mexico). His research focuses on intangible heritage, politics and cultural property law and digital technologies. He has Co-designed and co-founded the first Master’s (Research) and PhD programmes in Cultural Management in Latin America. He is the founder and director of Córima, Revista de Investigación en Gestión Cultural and has publications in Spanish, English, and French with recognised imprints including Routledge and Oxford University Press. He has been a Visiting Scholar at several universities in Australia, Finland, UK, Greece, Spain, USA, Colombia, and Ecuador, including Barcelona, Glasgow, and Princeton, and various Mexican institutions. Dr Chávez-Aguayo is a Chartered Scientist by The Science Council (UK), a Chartered Psychologist by The British Psychological Society and a member of the National System of Researchers (Mexico). He sits on the board of several academic programmes, conferences and journals and has frequently been engaged in public dissemination through TV, radio, press and online media. He is also a musician (a tenor).

Charlotte Feakins – Australian Co-chair, RELATIONSHIPS Theme
Justin Newhart – International Co-chair, RELATIONSHIPS Theme

Justin Newhart has over a decade of experience in cultural resource management and protection across the southeast and southwest United States. Since graduating from Tulane University in 2011 with a Masters in Preservation Studies, Justin has focused on protecting tangible and intangible heritage, particularly in Louisiana and Texas. Justin currently serves as the Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Fort Worth, where he oversees the second largest preservation program in the State of Texas. Justin enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his wife and corgi, and is excited to welcome twins into his family in September!

Owen Cafe – Australian Co-chair, INDIGENOUS HERITAGE Program
Diane Menzies – International Co-chair, INDIGENOUS HERITAGE Program

Diane Menzies is of Ngāti Kahungunu, English and Scottish descent, living in Aotearoa New Zealand.  She is the NZ representative: ICOMOS-IFLA ISC Cultural Landscape, and co-chair of their Indigenous Perspectives and Knowledge Committee. She has received the ONZM for services to the environment, and is a Past President and Secretary General of the International Federation of Landscape Architects. She currently Chairs the NZ Landscape Foundation, and is Kahui whetu, Ngā Aho, the Māori designers’ network, and member of ICOMOS NZ.

Her academic qualifications are in landscape architecture, horticulture, business management and mediation. She has a PhD in Resource Studies. Diane has worked for Wellington City Council, Ministry for the Environment NZ, and in the UK. She was a Commissioner for the NZ Environment Court, served as a local government elected representative and is now the director of Landcult Ltd with interests in research for Māori, social justice and cultural landscape.

Melissa Marshall – Australian Co-chair, CULTURE-NATURE JOURNEY Program

Melissa Marshall is an archaeologist and GIS technician based at the Nulungu Research Institute, the University of Notre Dame Australia (Broome Campus). Here she is the Acting Director and an ECR Fellow. With a focus on rock art research, conservation and management, she has worked extensively across northern Australia for more than 20 years with Traditional Owners and Indigenous ranger teams, specialising in cultural heritage management. This culminated in successful completion of doctoral research through the Australian National University (2020), investigating current rock art conservation and management techniques through a decolonising lens as applied in the north of the country. Based in the Kimberley region for close to two decades, her work is framed by Decolonising and Indigenous Methodologies.

Clemens Küpper – International Co-chair, CULTURE-NATURE JOURNEY Program

Clemens Küpper is Evaluations and Operations Officer for World Heritage at IUCN and the IUCN World Heritage Panel’s Executive Officer. He is responsible for coordinating the technical evaluation of new candidate sites nominated to the World Heritage List, as part of IUCN’s role as advisory body on natural World Heritage. In IUCN’s newly established Heritage, Culture and Youth team, he serves as focal point on World Heritage and rights, culture and Indigenous heritage. He has supported the Nature-Culture Journey at the IUCN World Conservation Congress (Marseille, 2021) and the development of IUCN’s new Youth Strategy. Before IUCN, Clemens worked at UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre in Paris. He studied geography, philosophy and economics in Bonn, London and Edinburgh and holds an MSc in Environment, Culture and Society from the University of Edinburgh.

Flavia Scardamaglia – Australian Co-chair, HERITAGE FOR CLIMATE Program

Flavia is a heritage specialist with a passion for historic urban landscapes, cultural landscapes and built heritage. Co-winner of the 2022 National Trust Awards for Aboriginal Heritage, Flavia currently provides strategic heritage advice to Woollahra Council in Sydney, developing policies to conserve and manage the Municipality’s rich built, historic and Aboriginal heritage. Having gained qualifications in Architecture, Heritage Studies and Planning obtained in Italy and Australia, Flavia strives to protect cultural heritage through the development of urban planning policies and grow ethical perspectives on sustainable urban practices. 

Ave Paulus – International Co-chair, HERITAGE FOR CLIMATE Program
Shoshanna Grounds – Australian Co-chair, HERITAGE AS SUSTAINABILITY Program
Bayan F. El Faouri – International Co-chair, HERITAGE AS SUSTAINABILITY Program

PhD Candidate and researcher in Architecture at Cardiff University in the UK, sponsored by the Hashemite University in Jordan. The chair of ICOMOS Jordan scientific committee for the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG) and one of their representatives in the international ICOMOS SDGWG. Interested mainly in the UN initiatives for Sustainable development including SDGs, HUL and NUA, as well as Heritage-led Urban Regeneration in the context of World Heritage Listing, with a focus on the MENA region. Acquired over six years of experience at As-Salt Greater Municipality/ As-Salt City Development Projects Unit.

Erik Champion – Australian Co-chair, DIGITAL HERITAGE Theme
Verónica Heras – International Co-chair, DIGITAL HERITAGE Theme

Verónica Heras is a researcher in the cultural heritage area. Since 2007, she is an Architect for the Universidad de Cuenca. In 2009, she obtained a master’s degree from the Raymond Lemaire International Center for Conservation at KULeuven. Later at the same University, she carried out her doctoral research where she developed a monitoring system based on preventive conservation strategies. She has extensive experience in theory and heritage documentation; which are supported by publications in scientific journals. She currently seeks to combine scientific research with practice and transmit it to students from her teaching experience at the University of Azuay since 2017.