To understand the importance of historical heritage we should first look at the question, why is history important? An article in National Geographic (May 2009) reads, “History is wonderful but nebulous. It is hard to fathom. It is still harder to see.” William Lund’s (1886 – 1971) a historian definition will suffice – “We study the past to understand the present; we understand the present to guide the future.” The ACNT regarded historic heritage as a ‘fundamentally important element of the nation’s social capital’, stating:
Heritage, by its very nature, provides a common thread of understanding and identity that is so critical to the operation of the nation. Whether it is in the armed forces, education, farming, the environment or business, matters such as ‘who we are’, ‘what we stand for’, and ‘where we came from’ are part of our shared memory, and form a key part of the collective value system that Australians apply when seeking a solution to a new challenge.
The national character is a creature of our history and our heritage. It is dynamic, constantly evolving as new experiences and diverse cultures add to our past Understandings
The spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its historic heritage Society’s values are developed in and determined by sustained heritages, both in the form of the tangible and intangible. This allow for each generation to build a future on what has existed. The partnership between communities and governments will only increase in the future. Understanding the Australian heritage will facilitate that partnership and make governments more effective in social policy. Interpretations of this Heritage provide the fundamental connections, values, beliefs and ideas that give a society its identity. Understanding our heritage helps to create a bench mark where the future generations can aspire to.
The Heritage and foundations of Australia should be preserved as part of our community life and development to give a sense of orientation. Celebrating our Australian Heritage contributes to spiritual significance that allows for a sense of identity and evaluation. Celebrating the Australian Heritage has a significant role to social well-being and has the potential to develop a single harmonious culture in a multi-ethnic society. By raising interests in celebrating our Australian Heritage, community becomes part of achieving cultural professional objective.