Kasey Robb MEIANZ and Ilya Berelov

Kasey Robb MEIANZ and Ilya Berelov

Abstract | Cultural Water in south-east Australia: The challenges of translation and implementation

Cultural Water is a concept that associates cultural values with fluvial environmental settings and prioritises specific locations for targeted management on the basis of shared cultural and environmental values. The major theoretical developments of cultural water and its application to real world environments were pioneered in New Zealand, where the clear relationships of cultural places with water were correlated with land management priorities around rivers, lakes and coastlines. It can be argued that this development arose out of the natural assets of New Zealand, which has abundant water resources that both require management, and contain clear links to Maori culture. The success of cultural water in New Zealand has meant that other cultural contexts have been inspired to translate the concepts and applications from New Zealand into their own settings. In recent times Australian land agencies have sought to borrow the New Zealand model in order to apply it in Australian Aboriginal contexts. As with any attempts to translate foreign concepts into new environments, this process has not been free of complications, as well as the need to innovate and experiment. We look at examples of cultural water projects undertaken in southeast Australia, and make observations on their challenges and successes with reference to the New Zealand prototypes.

Bio | Kasey Robb MEIANZ and Ilya Berelov

Kasey Robb

Kasey Robb is a Senior Archaeologist at Biosis Pty Ltd. She specilaises in cultural heritage assessment and management of large-scale Indigenous and historical heritage projects to gain regulatory approvals which includes expert advice on cultural heritage management and mitigation. Kasey has over 10 years’ experience as an archaeologist in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. This has involved the training of early career professionals, participation in multidisciplinary teams and cultural heritage assessment for both private and public sector clients.

Bio | Ilya Berelov

Dr Ilya Berelov

Dr Ilya Berelov is a Principal Archaeologist with Biosis Pty Ltd. He specialises in cultural heritage assessment, expert advice, management of complex and large-scale cultural heritage management projects (both primarily in relation to Australian Indigenous cultural heritage), Indigenous community consultation, and gaining approvals from regulatory authorities. Ilya has been actively involved in the research, teaching and management of archaeological projects across Australia, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and the USA, for over 25 years. His involvement has focused primarily on multidisciplinary collaborations including University and consulting industry joint projects.