Has South Australia given up on heritage?

Panel discussion


Wednesday 8 May 2013




Podcast available HERE (mp3 format 37MB)

Forty-one years ago, South Australia took a bold and unprecedented step forward in the conservation of architectural heritage with the purchase of the former Bank of South Australia, which had been slated for demolition. Now known as Edmund Wright House, it is an acknowledged jewel of Victorian style. In subsequent years, South Australia enacted significant legislation to identify significant places and protect them. Resources were devoted by governments and councils into heritage surveys and listings. A state government Heritage Branch set about an ambitious program of registration and conservation and Councils developed local heritage plans.

In more recent times there have been signs that heritage is less appreciated and protected both at state and local level. History curriculum in schools is also less evident and so a sense of understanding of our history is less clear. There are fewer building classification requests going up and some of these are being dismissed as counter to public interest through development opportunity. There are fewer staff assigned at government and local level to attend to built heritage protection. Funding for bodies like the National Trust has been reduced or cut entirely.

After putting so much effort into South Australian built heritage over decades, has SA given up on heritage? What is the state of South Australian heritage today and its prospects for the future? Join a forum where these questions will be probed and discussed by an informed panel and have your say.


  •     The Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
  •     Vicki Chapman, Deputy Leader of the Opposition
  •     David Brown, BB Architects, and heritage architect adviser to the Norwood Payneham St Peter's Council
  •     Sandy Wilkinson, North Ward Councillor, Adelaide City Council
  •     Marcus Beresford, National Trust of SA



Co-presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and National Trust of South Australia

Panel biographies

Ian HunterIan Hunter was born in Broken Hill and was educated at Gilles Plains High and the Flinders University of South Australia. He has worked as a Research assistant at Flinders Medical Centre, Youth Worker at CYSS, and Policy adviser. Before entering Parliament, Ian served as State Secretary of the Australian Labor Party. Ian's policy interests include science and science education, industrial relations, social justice, the environment and sustainability.



Vickie Chapman MPVickie Chapman MP was re-elected as the Member for Bragg in 2010 for a third term. She was first elected in 2002. Vickie is the third Member for Bragg since the Seat was instituted in 1970. The first was the late Hon Dr David Tonkin AO (1970-1983). Dr Tonkin was Premier of South Australia from 1979-1982.  The second Member was Hon Graham Ingerson (1983-2002). Graham served South Australia as Deputy Premier, and as a Minister in both the Brown and Olsen Governments.

In addition to her electorate duties, Vickie is Deputy State Liberal Leader, Shadow Minister for Transport & Infrastructure, Shadow Minister for Housing & Urban Development, Shadow Minister for Road Safety, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Shadow Minister for Planning and Shadow Minister for Status of Women.

David BrownDavid Brown is the director of BB Architects, a specialist conservation practice based in the west end of Adelaide. Its core expertise is advising on the restoration and adaptation of heritage buildings, designing additions to older buildings and integrating new buildings into old neighbourhoods. He has spent time working in London and South America, and in 2002 David joined with Mark Butcher to establish Butcher Brown Architects, which later evolved into BB Architects. David is currently the Heritage Advisor to the City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters, and previously has been a Heritage Advisor to Adelaide City Council and a State Heritage Advisor. David is also panel member of the Design Review panel for the Office for Design and Architecture SA as well as on the Australian Institute of Architect's SA Chapter Council.

Sandy WilkinsonSandy Wilkinson was elected to Council in 2007 and has been re-elected to again represent the North Ward for the 2010-2014 term of office. Sandy has been appointed as a member of the Development Assessment Panel. He is a professional, qualified in both architecture and planning, having a small design practice in North Adelaide specialising in heritage, residential design and property development - providing an informed perspective on development. A former City Council planner, Heritage Consultant, Sandy has rare insight into the range of Council functions. Sandy lives with his wife, Robyn and two small children in a Local Heritage house in North Adelaide.

Marcus BeresfordMarcus Beresford (with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Law) has experience with advocacy, heritage and community associations, having worked as chief executive officer for the Conservation Council of SA (1985-95) and the Friends of the Art Gallery of SA (1975-84).  Marcus has served as Councillor for the National Trust of SA for 3 years, is Chairman of the Trust's Natural Heritage Committee, and he is a member of Mitcham Historical Society.  Previous activities include membership on the National Consumer Advisory Committee of Cancer Australia (2007-10), the inaugural Executive Committee of Cancer Voices SA (2006-8), the SA government Heritage Committee (1988-9), Australian Committee IUCN-World Conservation Union (1985-93), Councillor Australian Conservation Foundation (1987-9), President Friends of the SA Museum (1983-5), and National President Australian Federation of Friends of Galleries & Museums (1982-4).


Chair: National Trust SA President, Professor Norman Etherington

Norman EtheringtonNorman Etherington was born in the USA and earned his BA and PhD at Yale University. He came to South Australia in 1968 as a Lecturer in History at the University of Adelaide where he subsequently served as Chair of the History Department and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He was founding Chair of the History Trust of SA (1981-87) and a member of the Adelaide City Council from 1985 to 1989. when he moved to Perth as Professor of History at the University of Western Australia. In addition to serving as President of the Australian Historical Association, he was a member of the Council of the National Trust in WA and the Heritage Council of Western Australia, including a term as Chair of the Register Committee. After his retirement he returned to Adelaide, while continuing to hold an appointment as Emeritus Professor at UWA. He is currently President of the National Trust of South Australia and chairs its Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee.


While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.


While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future. The Hawke Centre reserves the right to change their program at any time without notice.