The Youth Forum Program

Youth Forum Themes

The Youth Forum will to equip emerging professionals with enhanced skills in knowledge sharing and engagement, positioning them as creators and champions for innovative approaches to heritage best practice within their local communities.

Through social connectivity, global professional networking and future focus, the Youth Forum will deliver contemporary and innovative approaches to the conservation and celebration of significant monuments, sites and cultural landscapes, around the world.

Heritage Changes: Stain, Grain and Reframe

The Youth Forum 2023 will explore the overarching theme through the lens of three streams Stain, Grain, and Reframe. Each stream has linkages with the themes and programs of the GA2023 Scientific Symposium, although every stream will include sessions and programming regarding Indigenous Heritage and Heritage for Climate. These themes have been devised deliberately to be abstract and adaptable, with past, present and future focuses. This will allow our collaborators and delegates to engage with the themes through a wide variety of interpretations, and for program content and learnings to be diverse and inclusive.


How are places stained by the past, and shaped by the patina of contemporary heritage practice?

GA2023 linked themes and programs: Resilience, Rights, Heritage as Sustainability

Places are stained with the layers of the past. Stains, whether intangible or physical, convenient or uncomfortable can add texture, layers of meaning and depth to the heritage places. Young and emerging heritage practitioners engage with communities to explore, facilitate and foster multiple narratives and work to decolonise heritage management practices.

As societies are increasingly becoming pluralistic and interconnected, Stain explores how to recognise traces of the past in contemporary practices and approaches, questions around Indigenous and First Nations heritage, colonialism and multicultural heritage. Stain further aims to explore engagement with minority communities and the need to acknowledge difficult stories and contested places that make up the various layers of heritage.


How can we, as young and emerging professionals and practitioners, ‘move against the grain’ of complacency towards climate change and other major global trends in the context of a changing world?

GA2023 linked themes and programs: Responsibility, Resilience, Culture Nature Journey,

Grain explores how heritage practice can adapt in an era of more frequent and severe weather events, pandemics and other transformational global trends. This includes building a new model of nature-culture relations; preparing for and adapting to change. In the twenty-first century, human settlements are transitioning from coarse grain pattern of the industrial age to fine grained cities grappling with issues of density, climate change, inequity, health crises and scarcity of resources. Grain encourages us to think from the highly localised to the globalised to investigate how material culture, fabric and the drastically altered natural environment is shaping and making new demands on heritage practice and discourse, including on materials conservation. This stream will explore how, by taking responsibility, we can build resilience to ensure we conserve and enhance our collective heritage for future generations.


How can young and emerging professionals ‘reframe’ heritage? And in ‘reframing’ ideas, values and conservation practice how do we lay the groundwork for an uncertain future?

GA2023 Linked themes and programs: Relationships, Digital Heritage

Reframe asks us to imagine the future of the heritage field. The global events of the last few years have accelerated rapid transformations in our collective lives and affirmed the importance of cultural heritage in building resilient communities.

In a changing world, Reframe explores the relationship between heritage practice and new technologies, diverse perspectives and inclusive frameworks. Practical considerations, such as contextual design, adaptive re-use and activation, legislative reviews and reform, and designing with Country will be explored in this stream. Reframe invites new and diverse voices and experiences into the frame and considers how best to integrate new technologies and fresh perspectives into conservation practice. 


The working language of the Youth Forum is English. A good knowledge of English is essential, for the benefit of the individual participants and effective communication during the Youth Forum.

Knowledge patron

Cockatoo Island / Wareamah Youth Forum Patrons