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Australia, NZ join to save Asia-Pacific heritage

Media Release


Australia and New Zealand join forces to save the cultural heritage of the Asia-Pacific

Heritage management experts from Australia and New Zealand are meeting at Te Papa, Wellington, August 25-26, 2005 to develop a cooperative framework for saving cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific.

Vinod Daniel, Chair of AusHeritage, Australia's International Network for Heritage Services, said, "The challenge for the Asia-Pacific region in preserving its cultural heritage is enormous. The region covers more than a third of the earth's surface and with the majority of the world's languages, the Asia-Pacific region is huge both geographically and in terms of cultural diversity."

AusHeritage has been active in South-East Asia where it has been working with ASEAN's Committee on Culture and Information to prepare strategic plans for preserving that regions cultural heritage. Similarly, New Zealand's heritage managers have been working for many years with cultures in the Pacific region.

"A strategic partnership between Australian and New Zealand heritage managers could combine the experiences of both countries to better tackle the enormous challenges of heritage preservation in the region", said Mr Daniel.

Jocelyn Cuming, National Preservation Officer, National Library of New Zealand and Co-convenor of the forum concurs with Vinod Daniel, "The AusHeritage network is an interesting model of national cooperation in Australia and it is something that I think might work well in New Zealand."

The High Commissioner of Australia, Dr. Allan Hawke, said "This is yet a further example of the very close ties between Australia and New Zealand. He further added, This forum will pave the way for tackling the important issue of sustaining cultural diversity in the region more effectively".

ENDS

AusHeritage is Australia's international network for cultural heritage services. The organisation's members include Australian universities, national collecting institutions, State galleries, libraries and museums, private architectural firms and private and government conservation services.

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