The Courage of their Convictions: Creating Cultural Landscapes in 1930s Western Australia
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science
Building a cultural landscape involves deep political and social processes. Discussions relating to decisions about preservation reveal cultural values at a particular moment and explain the character of the surviving landscape. This study analyses how one community in Western Australia defined its sense of place and identity. In the 1930s, on a wave of historical consciousness, Western Australians sought to enshrine the desire to preserve a range of historical materials in legislation, and conducted debates about the very survival of the buildings and documents. This paper investigates why legislation to preserve buildings and documents failed, and how the community understood the relationship between these two forms of heritage. Bringing together the two series of discussions, about the values inherent in and surrounding documents and buildings, highlights the way in which meanings are invested in places and things, and the values and processes through which the cultural landscape is shaped.