1st Edition

Heritage, Indigenous Doing, and Wellbeing Voices of Country

    210 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    210 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Heritage, Indigenous Doing and Wellbeing presents an Aboriginal Australian relational understanding of the world that offers a counter-narrative to the Western notion of heritage and new insights into the potential for sustaining the complex systems that support all life.

    From an Indigenous Australian perspective, the Western concept of heritage is intentionally exclusionary and supports social, political, economic, and environmental injustice. Aboriginal People engage with landscape every day in entirely, different ways, seeing Country as a living ‘heritage’, but in a unique relationship form that engages the individual with place, ancestors, language, and wellbeing. However, Country is most  often relegated by heritage proponents to ‘intangible heritage’, and this results in the concept having little legislative, legal, or administrative weight. Drawing on a common understanding of Country as sacred, living, and sentient, rather than as objectified property or resource, the contributors to this book explore a diversity of relationships with Country that demonstrate the richness and the practical utility of this relational understanding.

    Heritage, Indigenous Doing, and Wellbeing foregrounds the voices of Australian Aboriginal People who are involved in ‘Caring for Country’. It will be an essential resource for those engaged in the study of Country, heritage, museums, Indigenous Peoples, landscape architecture, environmental studies, planning, and archaeology. It will also be of great interest to heritage practitioners working around the globe.


    Megan Davis

    Introduction: Heritage, Indigenous Doing, and Wellbeing – Voices of Country

    Norm Sheehan, David S. Jones, Josh Creighton, and Sheldon Harrington

    Part I: Voices of Country

    Chapter 1

    Indigenous Ontology

    Norm Sheehan

    Chapter 2


    David S. Jones

    Chapter 3


    Norm Sheehan

    Part 2: Surveying the Lands and Waters

    Chapter 4

    Indigenous Knowledge in Urban Indigenous Communities


    Chapter 5

    Cultures of Design: Nurturing design communities on common ground

    Sheldon Harrington & Josh Creighton

    Chapter 6

    Gongan Business Model – Working across the Cultural Interface of Business

    Rod Williams

    Chapter 7

    Expression of a Gumbaynggirr Research Methodology: An Ontological Framework for Inquiry on Gumbaynggirr Country.

    Dylan Berger

    Part 3: Narrating of Lands and Waters

    Chapter 8

    Recasting Roles as Sovereign Peoples

    Stephen Corporal & Emma McConochie

    Chapter 9

    Navigating Narrating: applied practice and conversations

    David S Jones

    Part 4: Listening to Lands and Waters

    Chapter 10

    Give before you ask: Falling in love with Country

    Danièle Hromek

    Chapter 11

    I’m a wandering Auntie

    Kat Synnott (Rodwell)

    Chapter 12


    Aunty Bea Ballangarry

    Chapter 13

    Winanga-y (understanding) burrbiyaan (the self) through the Processes of Learning and Teaching as Gamilaraay

    Uncle Paul Spearim and Clinton Schultz

    Chapter 14

    Learning from Country and Engaging with Community

    Nick Freeburn

    Chapter 15

    Visual Pattern Thinking Through Indigenous Respectful Design Systems and Ants

    Tristan Schultz and Norm Sheehan




    Professor Norm Sheehan is currently the Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland (UQ), Co-Chair of the Vice Chancellor’s UQ Reconciliation Action Plan Oversight Committee, a member of the UQ School of Education Advisory Council, and an expert advisor of Indigenous research to the UQ Human Research Ethics Committee.

    Dr David S. Jones is Professor (Research) at Monash University, Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra, Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

    Josh Creighton has worked in Indigenous pedagogical design for over a decade and received the Southern Cross University Medal in 2020 after graduating with First Class Honours in Indigenous Knowledge from Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples.

    Sheldon (SJ) Harrington is a young local Widjabul artist from the Bundjalung Nation on the Far North Coast of New South Wales.