TUES 25 MAY 2021


The Future of Adelaide’s Heritage – The City of Adelaide’s Heritage Strategy and Action Plan 2020 – 2035


The City of Adelaide contains many heritage places, all of which speak of the history and development of South Australia. The City contains 27% of all heritage listed places in South Australia. We have 647 State heritage Places, 1850 Local Heritage Places, two Commonwealth listed places and two Nationally listed heritage places. Not only do we have a planned city, surrounded by an internationally unique belt of Park Lands, but the proportion of heritage places within the City’s grid makes Adelaide distinctive. In this age of global tourism, cities that retain their distinctive past expressed in built form are being considered an asset.


Council has considered the City’s heritage to be an asset since the 1980s. At that time, Council commenced a heritage program that had three pillars; protect, preserve and promote. Protection led to a list of protected heritage places, initially under the separate City of Adelaide legislation, before transferring over to State legislation. Preserving led to the establishment of the nationally awarded Heritage Incentive Scheme. For over 30 years, this Scheme has provided grants to owners for good conservation work and documentation. Promotion lead to a publication program that began with books and tours and is now moving to social media as well as the History Festival over May.


Having operated for 30 years, Council considered it was time to re-focus, augment and reorientate the heritage program. The Heritage Strategy and Action Plan was prepared. It is not a revolutionary document as what Council was doing well, and that was a lot, is to continue. However, it does contain some new big ideas.


The four big ideas emerged from wide ranging discussions and actions that Council thought needed to be done for heritage in the City. This talk will present the rationale behind the actions and present and explain the ideas that have emerged as a result to guide heritage in the City of Adelaide into the future.

Therese Willis

City of Adelaide

Therese has over twenty years’ experience in the heritage profession. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and passion for heritage with all sectors of the community.
Therese has worked at the City of Adelaide since 2017, providing conservation advice and support to heritage building owners and managers through Council’s Heritage Incentives Scheme, developing heritage policies and resources, and providing guidance on appropriate development in relation to heritage place and areas.
Therese’s diverse roles in the heritage profession have led to a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities that heritage has to offer and the threats that it faces.
While Asset Manager for the National Trust of South Australia, she was responsible for overseeing the management of more than 130 diverse heritage properties and collections, and supporting dedicated volunteers in their care and best practice management.
As a heritage consultant with highly regarded heritage practice, McDougall & Vines, Therese prepared conservation management plans for state and local heritage places, heritage design guidelines, and heritage surveys in metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia. Therese has provided heritage advisory services to numerous metropolitan councils including Cities of Adelaide, Port Adelaide Enfield, Mitcham, Norwood Payneham and St Peters, Holdfast Bay, Burnside and West Torrens.
Therese gained extensive experience in managing history collections and engaging the community with heritage as manager of the Mitcham Heritage Research Centre. Her interpretive programs included collaborative community events, school programs, digital and printed interpretive material, exhibitions and tours.
Therese is an international member of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and a registered Architect.