Course convenor: Dr Sarah Holcombe - Sarah's research focuses on the social dimensions of mining, mine closure, and broadly the anthropology of the local Indigenous / extractive sector interface.

Course coordinator: Lynda Lawson

Delivery: Online, 15 hours in 3 modules with a live introductory session and a final wrap up session with Q&A. The content will be delivered using UQ’s edX on line platform with short lectures, readings, case studies and interactive and reflective activities.

Cost: $2000 (excl GST)

Participant Profile: Professionals, trades, management and consultants engaged in the resources sector

Overview: The course will address the foundational processes, practices and requirements for ensuring that cultural heritage is managed effectively and respectfully throughout the life of an operation. The course will draw upon a diverse range of Australian good practice approaches, practical approaches, practical examples and international standards. This three week course includes opportunities to learn from experts in the field, Indigenous leaders and from each other via interactive activities.


Learning Objectives

Participants learn about cultural heritage management (CHM) principles, relevant legislation and standards as they apply to an operating extractives site and the broader areas of impact. This course is relevant to all stages of an operations life, including exploration.

  • Gain a practical understanding of the value of working constructively and respectfully with cultural heritage custodians
  • Acquire initial tools and skills to enhance social performance in CHM with the aim of ‘democratising’ the CHM process to enable wider community participation
  • Establish a network of peers for knowledge-sharing and support.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course participants will have developed the ability to be able to:

  • Recognise both the intrinsic and business value of a cultural heritage management plan (CHMP)
  • Understand tangible and intangible aspects of CH in the context of Indigenous Australia
  • Distinguish between compliance drivers and more nuanced approaches to CHM
  • Ensure that the cultural heritage management requirements of protection and mitigation are met
  • Understand key elements of a stakeholder engagement plan
  • Identify the native title holding representative bodies or other collective structures representing Indigenous interests.
  • Select and engage third-party expertise and support for CHM
  • Prepare a scope of works for CHM related projects and articulate the business case for the need to undertake CH work.

Program overview

Week 1 The Australian Indigenous context and Cultural Heritage 

This week will introduce the course, its aims and key concepts, for example the importance of early and continuous engagement. It also aims to provide knowledge and approaches which will ‘democratise’ CHM and enable a broader range of stakeholders to participate in the appreciation and management of CH in the Australian resource sector.

The knowledge base for understanding intangible and tangible aspects of CH will be developed through short lectures in archaeology and anthropology. The importance of gender across CH will be taught, and highlighted here and across the course. The way CH is framed in the legislation of different states and in Native Title will be explored in relation to the resource sector.

Week 2 What is cultural heritage management and why it is important?

This week will develop participants’ understanding of CHM and the need for respect for culture in the resources sector. The rationale for strong and respectful CHM in the resource sector will be examined, considering for example the international drivers of compliance, the business case for CHM and its place as a core activity in social performance. 

The knowledge base for understanding how CH can be mapped is extended with short lectures on anthropological and archaeological methods.

A practical introduction to planning and implementing of CHMPs will be given using the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Act Cycle) as an integral element in life-of-mine planning. The course will include teaching on the implementation of CHM from experienced practitioners in the resource sector.

Week 3 Agreements, Engagement and CHM

This week will examine local agreements, including Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs), and how these relate to CHM. The importance of effective Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholder engagement will be emphasised as well as appropriate and effective approaches for preparing stakeholder engagement plans. We will explore what makes effective cultural awareness training for staff and a culturally safe workplace. The course will also outline the use of risk management tables and the practicalities of preparing a scope of work for a cultural heritage management plan.                 

Knowledge check 

By the end of this course we expect participants to have engaged with the following key ideas:

  • Developing a CHMP is not an add on, but an essential component of an operation and begins at the exploration and early SIA stages
  • The CHMP needs to be integrated into the operation and updated like any other active component of the local operation
  • Respecting the prior rights and interests of Indigenous peoples is sound business practice
  • A compliance driven approach is not likely to meet the expectations & aspirations of Indigenous CH custodians
  • Recognition that a group’s identity is usually tied to their cultural heritage
  • Early and ongoing consultation with impacted communities is critical
  • Gender has an important impact which cuts across many aspects of cultural heritage and its management


About Social Performance in the Resources Sector

Developed in response to demand for more modular, intensive workshops and flexible study options, our social peformance masterclasses and courses offer those working in the mining and social performance field the opportunity to learn alongside peers in the sector and to hear from experts in the field.

The Masterclass Series are led by highly qualified and skilled practitioners working around the globe. These courses focus on specialised topics and offer participants the opportunity to develop new skills, gain exposure to latest practice and make key contacts in the field.

CSRM also delivers Customised Workshops, enabling teams to develop new knowledge, explore innovative concepts and practices, and to unpack complex sustainability scenarios. Workshop objectives can be tailored to the needs of individual organisations and can be facilitated at The University of Queensland, your corporate office, or on-site with social performance teams.

The Fundamentals of Social Performance Series consists of three core modules comprising the Foundations of Social Performance, Working with Communities, and Understanding Social Impact, each delivered over a four day period. Download the flyer for more information. This course has been postponed due to current travel restrictions.

Registration for courses and masterclasses is done through an online payment form. 

Mastercard, Visa and American Express is accepted, as well as the option to create a Proforma Invoice that can be paid via BPAY or EFT.