Presentations: The Cultural Sustainability Stream of the People and the Planet: Transforming the Future Global Conference

logo-globalcitiesThe Global Cities Research Institute (RMIT) and the UN Global Compact Cities Programme, Melbourne, July 2013


Adriana Partal, Research Assistant, Cultural Development Network
Blanch Higgins, RMIT University
Jade Lillie, CEO, Footscray Community Arts Centre Steph Vajda, Ferment Collaborate
Kevin Murray, Kit Andrew, Samantha Fabry, RMIT University
Shanene Ditton, Researcher, Gold Coast

The Cultural Development Network was pleased to partner with organisers to convene the conference stream on cultural sustainability. A fascinating range of presentations from speakers from countries including China, South Africa, New Zealand, UK, and across Australia, addressed the complex relationship between culture and sustainability.  Panel themes included: Culture and society nexus; Education, culture and sustainability; Cultural heritage and sustainability; The relationship of the arts to cultural sustainability; Culture, sustainability and cities.

Conference website

Blanche Higgins from RMIT led a discussion about the “culturing” of tertiary education, which she argued would lead to best practice. She advocated for the recognition of the importance of culture in the way we learn, what we learn and how learning is applied. New CEO of the Footscray Community Arts Centre, Jade Lillie, and her colleague Steph Vajda from Ferment Collaborate in Brisbane discussed the relationship they observed between community cultural development practice and sustainable communities. Adriana Partal, Research Assistant with CDN, reported on her literature review on cultural impact assessment; and her findings that this process is infrequently used, most often connected to heritage and indigenous heritage management. Three speakers discussed issues related to cultural heritage and sustainability: Kevin Murray, from RMIT University, on cooperative models for global trade in traditional crafts; Kit Andrews from RMIT University on urban skills in transformation in Myanmar and consultant Samantha Fabry on issues faced by European walled cities.  Queensland researcher Shanene Ditton presented her work with Gold Coast community members who were advocating for their desired future by making an active and co-ordinated contribution to their city’s cultural plan.