ICOMOS General Assembly 2023 puts heritage sustainability in the spotlight

31 August – 9 September | Sydney 

Sydney is set to host the highly anticipated ICOMOS General Assembly 2023, a triennial event that brings together heritage professionals from around the world. Scheduled to take place from 31 August to 9 September at Sydney’s International Convention Centre, the event promises to shed light on the critical intersection of heritage and sustainability. 

Under the overarching theme of “Heritage Changes” the General Assembly will convene the ICOMOS International Executive, Advisory Committee, and thousands of experts at the Scientific Symposium. Spearheading the ‘Heritage as Sustainability’ program during the event is Shoshanna Grounds, NGH’s Principal Heritage Consultant, who will host the program alongside international co-chair Bayan F El Faouri. The symposium organisers, Steve Brown and Ona Vileikis, have diligently crafted an engaging symposium that will explore the evolving role of heritage in an ever-changing world. 

Reflecting on the tumultuous changes witnessed in the early 2020s, the Symposium aims to delve into the profound impact of climate emergencies, conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, closed borders, virtual meetings, and the powerful Black Lives Matter movement. The central question that will guide discussions is: What has been the role of heritage in these transformative events, and how must the field adapt to meet the challenges ahead? 

Key topics to be addressed during the Symposium include Indigenous and Digital Heritage, Heritage for Climate, and the Culture-Nature Journey. By examining resilience, responsibility, rights, and relationships, the event will foster dialogue and exchange of ideas among experts from diverse backgrounds. 

Shoshanna Grounds, in collaboration with her fellow co-chairs and the Symposium organisers, aims to create a platform where global heritage professionals can unite and share their experiences and insights regarding Heritage as Sustainability. The overarching goal is to highlight the crucial role heritage plays in supporting sustainable development and global commitments. 

“Our heritage team at NGH is dedicated to promoting the ideals and values that underpin the Sustainable Development Goals, with a specific focus on protecting and safeguarding the world’s cultural and natural heritage,” said Shoshanna Grounds, emphasising the team’s commitment to preserving our shared heritage. 

The ICOMOS General Assembly 2023 promises to be a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to ensure a sustainable future through the lens of heritage. See the ICOMOS GA2023 website to learn more about this important event.  

About Shoshanna Grounds: 

Shoshanna Grounds is well known in Aboriginal and sustainable heritage management in Australia, with a wealth of experience accumulated over 18 years in both the public and private sectors. With a deep understanding of cultural heritage, archaeological assessment, and relationship management, Shoshanna is highly skilled in consultation and partnership building to protect and safeguard Indigenous cultural values. Her focus on fostering equitable partnerships with Australian Indigenous communities has proven instrumental in addressing development challenges and navigating the impacts of climate change, where the convergence of Indigenous bio-cultural knowledge and conservation management strategies offers mutual benefits for all stakeholders. 

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