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Stuck in the Past: Does heritage oppose social change and progress?

The Heritage Festival program continues with ‘Stuck in the Past’, where we question whether the city of Ballarat reflects the people who live there now or those who are long gone.

Heritage is often cherished for its quaint, aesthetic contribution to a thriving city, rather than for its tangible and intangible cultural values. Notions of community wellbeing is increasingly formed around lifestyle aspirations and economic development drivers. The preservation of heritage landscapes can preclude the addition of amenities and services that meet the changing needs of communities. Heritage can also contribute to gentrification and the social alienation of people who do not understand the codified rules at play in affluent heritage settings.

It is not only in high-profile heritage settings that social movement and individual expression is controlled and contained, but also through everyday heritage guidelines and restrictions. Do heritage overlays honour the past or stifle contemporary cultural expression? By favouring the heritage of civic landscapes and elite neighbourhoods, do we devalue or cover-up the heritage of diverse communities?

In this discussion, the panel will explore whether heritage values contribute to social inequity and alienation in our suburbs, or build community identity through honouring diverse stories, memories, and values.

Doors open at 5.15pm, please join for a complimentary drink before the discussion begins at 6.00pm.


102 Stawell Street South, Eureka, VIC 3350Get directions


The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.