The Como Approach
Ensuring that conservation skills are valued and sustained into the future
The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) strives to be a leader in developing and promoting conservation excellence. As the custodian of over 40 heritage properties the Trust has a key role to play in building the capacity of the heritage conservation industry and ensuring that conservation skills are valued and sustained into the future.
The National Trust recognises there is limited knowledge in the community about conservation processes and their necessity for providing good conservation outcomes. There is also a critical need to address the ongoing issue of a diminishing pool of skilled conservation practitioners, as well as limited avenues and opportunities for practitioners to share their knowledge and develop skills in the traditional trades and conservation practices. If these two issues are not addressed there will not be the conservation skills required to sustain cultural heritage values in Australia into the future.
With its diverse portfolio of heritage places and collections, the National Trust has the opportunity to provide an active forum where conservation practitioners can collaborate in sharing, strengthening and celebrating heritage conservation skills. As an advocacy organisation, the Trust also has the opportunity to share conservation knowledge and experience gained at its sites and with others, to build a greater understanding of the necessity and value of a conservation approach.
Como House is a flagship property of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and in every sense, it reflects the achievements of the heritage conservation movement in Victoria, as well as the mounting challenges. At the inception of The Como Approach a grant was awarded to undertake conservation works at the site, providing the opportunity for it to act as a pilot project for the initiative.
It is critical that we address this heritage skills shortage and the National Trust is in a unique position to bring communities together to strengthen this industry and ensure our heritage is protected into the future.