As one of the younger democracies, the authors note that there is a general perception of Australia as a “cultural wasteland”, but they quickly counter this idea by examining the nature and means of government involvement in heritage management, noting that as a federal system, the level of government has been of significance as well as the influence of prominent individuals. In the historical overview presented the following aspects are examined: the aboriginal question and heritage; the colonial experience; Australia's rare and curious specimens in museums; the development of the performing arts after World War II; and natural heritage – including National Parks and Wildlife Service.
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