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Atkinson AT. Heritage, Self, and Place. 2003.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/1692
Heritage, Self, and Place
A focus on the peculiarities of local and regional heritage helps to highlight varied conceptions of heritage itself. Within a rural context it is relatively difficult to think of the past as a 'foreign country' and as an artifact of the present, in David Lowenthal's terms, since the rate and type of changes to the environment vary from that of the urban. In this article I explore the 'inwardness' of Australian ideas about heritage, as distinct from those, which make the past something separate from ourselves.This argument has been put together at a regional university (New England) situated in a country town, and by someone who has spenttwo-thirds of his life in places other than capital cities. In dealing with regional and local heritage, in other words, I am attempting to take the view from within. I went to school in the town I now work in, all my children were born here, and I have, or have had, various relations scattered throughout the region: not only in Armidale (for most of the twentieth century), but in Tenterfield, Moree, Inverell, Uralla, and elsewhere. And if this view from within is obviously self-indulgent, then it's a kind of self-indulgence which has some practical advantage. At a time when regional universities are being urged to re-engage with their immediate socialand geographical circumstances and make themselves useful as regional institutions, the view I try to work through here may well be the way of the future.