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Heritage Conservation and Advocacy

The Trust has been lobbying for the preservation of Victoria's heritage since 1956. Advocacy is a major priority for the Trust. As the largest community based heritage organisation in Victoria, the National Trust is the lead body that can launch campaigns to protect heritage places from threats to their significance.

The National Trust supports heritage advocacy across the state through campaigns, the National Trust Heritage Register and professional advice.

Victoria is fortunate to have outstanding Environmental Heritage. We are actively working to raise awareness of our special Victorian landscapes, historic gardens and significant trees and advocate for their protection and appreciation.

Advocacy Projects

Celebration of our successes is an important part of raising community awareness and rewarding advocates. The National Trust celebrates through their Heritage Awards program and the annual, national Heritage Festival.

These projects are the advocacy initiatives that excite our imaginations and engage with a living heritage. The Trust's first research project into the Indigenous cultural heritage significance of our properties Mooramong, McCrae Homestead and Endeavour Fern Gully, Reconciliation through Place, is one of these celebrating the Trust's commitment to a shared heritage.

Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary is underway with the Gallipoli Oaks and Avenues of Honour Projects.

Use the page links to the right to find out more...

Heritage Protection and Planning

Protection and planning are key aspects of the heritage conservation and advocacy process. The systems in place in Victoria are explained below.

National Trust

The National Trust has the most comprehensive single listing covering all types of cultural and natural heritage in Victoria. This is known as the Trust Register. As a community body, listing by the Trust is not legally binding in any way. It does however have the authority of consideration by experts, and is often consulted by statutory bodies.

Click here for frequently asked questions about National Trust listing.

Click here to access the Trust Register.

Local Shire or Council

All municipalities in Victoria are required to identify heritage places, including buildings, objects and precincts, and protect them through their Planning Schemes with a 'Heritage Overlay' control. A permit needs to be sought for changes to a place with an HO control, but this usually only applies to the exterior of buildings. Contact your local Council for more information.

Heritage Victoria

This is the State Government body, which is charged with protecting places of 'State level significance' - that is places that are important to the whole of Victoria. Listing usually includes the whole of the place, including the interior of buildings. Changes to a place that is on the Victorian Heritage Register usually require a permit, which over-ride local Council heritage permits.

Click here for Heritage Victoria's website.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 provides protection for all Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in Victoria. This Act acknowledges Aboriginal people as the primary guardians of Aboriginal cultural, establishes a registration system for this heritage, and also sets up a Management Plan and Permit system.

Click here for information on Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in Victoria

Australian Government - National and Commonwealth Heritage Lists

This National Listing regime was begun on 1st Jan 2004. The National List aims to list and protect those cultural and natural places that are considered to be of 'outstanding' importance to Australia. The Commonwealth List includes places of 'significant' heritage value that are owned by the Australian Government, which means they are exempt from local or state control. Places on these lists are afforded protection under the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). As of 2008, Victoria had 26 places on the National List. More information and the full lists can be found at the Australian Heritage website. That page also explains the World Heritage List. The only place in Victoria on the World Heritage List is currently the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.

The Register of the National Estate (RNE)

This is an Australia-wide list established by the Federal Government in the 1970s, covering all types of places and levels of importance. It had little statutory importance, operating as an advisory list to be consulted by the Federal Government. It was frozen in 2007, and from 2012 will become simply an archive.

More information can be found on the Australian Heritage website section about the RNE here.