Wadawurrung Cultural Heritage Mapping

Iconyx developed a feature-rich Cultural Heritage Information Management tool for Victoria University. As a major contribution to Aboriginal communities. In order to preserve their cultural identity and cultural heritage.

Iconyx’s Summit provided an integrated field mapping solution. Allowing the Wadawurrung community to survey areas and record cultural places and values outside the scope of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) process. An opportunity rarely afforded by any Aboriginal community.

The project enabled the Wadawurrung to record what they want. Where they want. It also enables them to decide whether a given cultural place or value should be registered.

As a result, the Wathaurung Aboriginal Co-operative has an internally managed, secure database. Which is regulated by Wadawurrung community members and elders for their exclusive use. In addition, it supports their function as a Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP). This empowers Aboriginal people to be the custodians of their own cultural heritage.

Since Summit’s deployment, the Wadawurrung Community has negotiated cultural heritage boundaries with neighbouring communities. In order to further their legitimate claims to the title. Something that was previously impossible to negotiate. By using Summit in the field, the elders from each community were able to walk the boundary and record an agreed placement on the landscape. This is then collected on a digital map along with GPS/GNSS coordinates.

The Wadawurrung and Victoria University have been recognised with several awards for their deployment of spatial technology based on the Summit solution. This includes the prestigious Banksia Award. ABC radio also featured the project and achievements.

Summit has revolutionised the approach to Cultural Heritage mapping for other organisations. Allowing communities to capture locations of artefacts and locations of significant value to register and protect these for future generations.

  • Victorian Spatial Excellence Awards – Award for Community Contribution (2012)
  • Ballarat Heritage Awards – Heritage Innovation (2013)
  • National Trust of Victoria – Heritage Innovation (2013)
  • Banksia Foundation – GPT Group Community Grant (2013)