Rich Rewards: Cultural Diversity and Heritage Practice
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Guidelines for Consultation with Ethnic Communities

Part 3 - A Step by Step Guide

9. 1 The Workshop Program

The program of your workshop will be determined by the proposed outputs of the consultation and who is organising it. Each workshop will reflect the character and make -up of the community. The program below is included as a guide. Your workshop will be most successful if theprogram works in with the character of your community. The participants in your workshop may already be familiar with heritage and you may be able to skip the introduction to heritage. The possibilities and opportunities are endless! If you are uncertain about how to proceed with certain issues, for example how the group would like to divide up into pairs for the photography session, don't be afraid to ask the group - it is after all a consultation.

Draft Program

Xtown Community Consultation Project

Hosted by the Town Museum



From 9.30am - 4.00pm

From 9.15

Arrival and Greeting
Welcome address
Heritage Adviser
An introduction to the heritage of Town
An introduction to the Town Regional Museum
An introduction to migration in Town
Migration Heritage Community Consultation Workshop

Break into pairs and organise cameras & film

Photography Session in and around Town
12. 20

Return with film

Discussion and start lists

Lunch (& Development of Film)

Exhibition Session (and Assessment of photographs)

Discussion: Out heritage: Our Story

Afternoon tea

Discussion: The future for Our Heritage




9.2 Arrival

It is important to make people feel welcome as they arrive. If possible they should be greeted by the facilitator and organiser and given a program detailing the day's events. This will ensure that they are clear on what the day holds. You may also like to hand out other relevant information on the organisation that has hosting the workshop or a flyer describing the aims of the day . It is advisable to supply participants with a nametag.

A cup of tea or coffee might be welcome here. However it is important to begin on time, so you could invite people to drink this while they are listening to the introductions.

9.3 The Welcome Address

A welcome address will set the tone for the day. It should be light hearted and encourage people to recognise the value of heritage. Inviting the mayor, local member or other dignitary to make the welcome address will help to impress the importance of heritage upon the participants. It will also help to generate media interest in the workshop. Alternatively the welcome address can be delivered by the facilitator or a member of the organisation hosting the workshop.

9.4 Introductions

Once the participants are sitting down, continue to build on the friendly and open tone for the day by having the participants introduce themselves. To break the ice, you might also invite them to say a few words: they could mention which community, organisation/s they are representing, what their country of origin was, or when they arrived in Australia or in your locality.

9.5 An Introduction to Heritage

For many participants the workshop will be a first step into heritage practice. This session needs to introduce ideas about heritage. It should explain that heritage can be any item or place that is important to a community. It is the things that we inherit, and the things that we want to protect for future generations.

Where the workshop is being run as part of the local government heritage study then the heritage adviser could give this introduction, using local heritage items as examples. It is also important to explain which features of a broader project the workshop is fulfilling. For a local heritage study the steps to creating listings are identification, assessment, research, nomination and approval. The workshop is comprises the first these steps.

Alternatives include a presentation a local historian with local knowledge of migration and settlement of the area could present this session, or the curator could describe the local collection and the role of the museum in heritage. If this is the case the introduction to heritage should be included in the next session, An Introduction to the Workshop.

9.6 An Introduction to the workshop

The facilitator or workshop organiser should then outline the aims for the day and how they will be achieved. This should include a step by step description of the program. Your historical research will have uncovered places that had past association with migrant communities. In some cases the significance of the association of that development of that place with ethnic community may have been lost from the public memory and you might like to use this to illustrate the importance of protecting the communities heritage.

This is also an excellent point to ask for questions.

9.7 Forming Pairs

The facilitator should then invite the participants to form pairs for photography. Everyone, including the organiser and facilitator, should participate in the photography session. It is best to allow people to form pairs on their own. If you are undertaking a cross cultural consultation there is no need to stipulate which area of the locality each pair should visit. If you do you risk sending the pair to an area where there is nothing of significance to their community! Some items will be photographed by more than one pair, however you may find that it produces some rich results as places have different meanings for different communities.

You could take a different approach if your workshop is ethno-specific. This involves dividing a map of the locality into areas. Each pair should then be allocated an area to photograph. This way will avoid thirteen pairs from the local Greek Community all photographing the local Greek Orthodox Church.

9.8 Taking Photographs

Photography is a tool for people to use in the identification of heritage places and items. Because this process is visual it is an effective tool for people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Just before the pairs leave it is important to guide the in achieving the aims of this session by advising them:

People could also bring along photographs, items or objects as an alternative or to supplement the photography session. You will need to include this in your invitation.

9.9 Returning with Film and Lunch

Not all of the pairs will return together. It is important to keep the group focused during this time. You could provide a copy of a local history or a collection of historical photographs for people to look at. This is also an excellent time for participants to look at information provided on the organisations that are participating in the workshop.

The film should be taken for development as soon as all of the pairs have arrived back.

9.10 Discussion and Lists

When the majority of pairs have returned the facilitator should begin to initiate a discussion of the things people have seen during the photography session. The group could also begin to develop two lists, which can be added to throughout the afternoon discussion.

The lists will identify:

9.11 Lunch

The discussion should continue to within forty-five minutes of the development of the film and then the group should break for lunch.

9.12 The Exhibition Session: Our Heritage- Our Story

This session will nurture skills among ethnic communities to begin to assess heritage items from their own cultural perspectives.

As the return of the photographs nears the facilitator should ask participants to reform pairs and take a place at the tables. A piece of card, gluestick and post-it notes should be distributed to each.

The facilitator should then re-iterate the aims of the session. Each pair should be directed to paste up their photographs on the board. On a post-it note they should write down the name and address of the item. They should then write a short statement of significance. Answering one or all of these questions can develop the statement of significance:

The post-it should then be stuck down on the cardboard with the photograph. The advantage of using post-it notes is that it presents a contained area in which to write the statement of significance. This is less intimidating for those of your participants that are shy and helps to contain the time taken to do the task. More information can be collected in the discussion session.

Each pair should also write their names on the exhibition boards and negative folders.

During the session the facilitator should visit each of the pairs to ensure that they are clear about what they are doing. They may also need to hurry some of the pairs along or help others complete the tasks. The facilitator should also check the people are comfortable writing in English. Working in ethno-specific pairs may help here, as can a translator. If participants prefer to write in a language other than English the comments could be translated after the workshop.

It is important to be aware of the time. You should make an announcement five minutes before the discussion session is due to start, that time for this task is coming to an end.

As each pair finishes they can pin up their photographs onto the display board. At this point they will usually begin to initiate discussion as they see what other pairs have done.

9.13 The Presentation Session

This session provides a platform for people to express the significance of the items that they have identified.

Begin the session by explaining that each pair is invited to say a few words about their photographs to the group. Encourage people to tell their story of the object or site and why it is important to them. The facilitator should break the ice and start this process by presenting the board that they worked on. This presentation should be informal with the emphasis on participants' comfort. You need to be sensitive that some participants may not be used to speaking in public - particularly in English.

This session should provide very rich results. It may uncover previously unknown items of heritage significant to ethnic communities. In addition the session may allude to new layers of meaning for existing heritage items.

Photographs trigger memory. As people begin to describe them they also tend to provide rich oral testimony, relating their experience of place. This process could become the basis for an oral history project, a component of a thematic history, weaving the experiences of people into the meaning of place. It provides and excellent starting point for research into the places and items identified. The facilitator will have to keep a watchful eye on the clock and muster their skills to keep the program moving along, as people are fascinated by each other's stories and experiences, which will generate further interest and discussion.

This session will draw attention to the richness of culturally diverse heritage practices and uncover information that, with the support of the ethnic communities, could have application in a range of projects. The facilitator or organiser will be asked for details on this session so it is advisable to take notes! With the permission of participants you could tape this session and produce a transcript as a point for further research.

9.14 Afternoon Tea

If time is short and interest at a peak you might invite people to have their afternoon tea while participating in the discussion session.

9.15 The Discussion Session: The Future of Culturally Diverse Heritage in my Locality.

The final session will present a range of options for discussion. The choice may depend upon the circumstances that prompted the workshop. If the workshop was organised with a local government heritage study in mind, then the final discussion session should explain the next step in the process and provide for continued community wide consultation and skill development with ethnic communities.

Issues raised in the discussion preceding the lunch break may also shape this session.

This session could identify some initiatives for sustained, culturally diverse heritage practices in the area. Some of these may include

One approach for doing this may be to agree to form a heritage committee. Details on the suggested formation and function of the committee are included at the end of this section. You could also hold a follow-up workshop, to gather more detailed information.

9.16 Evaluating the Workshop and Close.

When there is only 10 minutes left you should prepare to close the discussion. The facilitator may invite the workshop to extend the discussion by ten or fifteen minutes if it is still productive and at a crucial point.

When the discussion has drawn to a close the facilitator should hand out a copy of the evaluation form for each of the participants to fill in. This will take a few minutes.

In closing the workshop the facilitator should

9.17 Follow-up

To follow you should write to the participants to thank them for their in-put and attendance on the day. You could reinforce the outputs of the workshop and briefly describe how the aims were achieved. You may like to include a brief report on the workshop. If you have agreed to develop a Committee you could include an invitation to attend the meeting at which this will be formed. It is also important to continue to keep participants informed of any further developments.