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Cultural Heritage Officers

Our Cultural Heritage Officers consult with local communities and build positive relationships to deliver strong outcomes for the protection of cultural heritage during road construction activities across the state.

The below blog post is from one of our Senior Heritage Liaison Officers about her experience working with the Traditional Owners in the Far North District and her life changing work within the Australian landscape.

Guest Blogger - Jeanette Wormald

3 workers sitting on rocks overlooking a forest
Jeannette Wormald, Senior Heritage Liaison Officer visiting First Nations rock art site in the Chillagoe National Park adjacent to the Burke Developmental Road, west of Cairns during a Cultural Heritage Risk Assessment, 2019

Appointment of Leann Wilson as the first Native Title and Cultural Heritage Officer

In 1998, we appointed our first Native Title and Cultural Heritage Officer. Leann Wilson worked to develop our Native Title and Cultural Heritage policies, which became benchmarks for Native Title and Cultural Heritage Policies across the state at the time. 

3 people next a tree having a conversation
Our first Cultural Heritage and Native Title Liaison Officer, Leann Wilson (far right), consults with members of the First Nations community about upcoming projects in the region, 1998 

Today we employ a team of Cultural Heritage Officers including a State Manager and officers in each of our 12 districts and regions, ensuring all our projects and activities have access to cultural heritage expertise and guidance. 

Ms Wilson's achievements include: 

  • determining standards and priorities for the Cooktown Developmental Road that reflected community values for local First Nations communities
  • consulting extensively with Traditional Owners and broader First Nations communities on Native Title and cultural heritage issues during planning for a range of projects in North West Queensland, including proposed Barkly Highway upgrades and the Devoncourt Deviation on the Cloncurry-Dajarra Road
  • developing the Main Roads Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Scholarships, to encourage First Nations youth to consider Main Roads as a potential employer.

Leann was awarded the Premier's Award for Business Reconciliation for her work in pioneering Native Title and Cultural Heritage policies within the state.   

Two people next to a wooden structure
Our first Cultural Heritage and Native Title Liaison officer, Leann Wilson (left), consults with members of the First Nations community about upcoming projects in the region, 1998

Working with Cultural Heritage experts

Professor Paul Memmott and his team work with us to deliver ongoing cultural training for our staff. This training includes walking tours of Brisbane and discussions around Native Title.

Professor Memmott attended our Cultural Heritage Forum at Myuma in 2015 and conducted a training session for our Cultural Heritage Officers on First Nations history.

A person presenting next to a map
Professor Paul Memmott conducting a training session for our Cultural Heritage Officers on First Nations history, 2015
A person speaking to a group of people in high-vis clothing next to a 'Welcome to the Northern Territory' sign
Professor Paul Memmott is an anthropologist and architect and for some decades has been the Director of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (AERC), 2015