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Learning Area:

Humanities and Social Sciences

Year level:

Level 10

Suggested timing:

30 minutes

Lake Surprise

Activity 3 - UNESCO World Heritage list research

This activity is a part of the Budj Bim: an Aboriginal cultural heritage landscape resource.

Lake Surprise, Budj Bim, Victoria. Gunditjmara country. Source: Wikimedia Commons. License: CC0 1.0

Step-by-step guide

1.What is the UNESCO World Heritage List? 

2.What are the 20 sites in Australia that are on the list?  

3.What are the criteria for inclusion? ( UNESCO World Heritage Centre - The Criteria for Selection

4.What are 10 world heritage listed sites you have heard of? 

5.What are 5 listed sites you’d most like to visit?  

6.How would World Heritage listing change the nature of a geographic site?  

7.What elements are required to be proven in an application to the world heritage list? 

8.An academic article notes: 

“Indigenous values are under-represented on the World Heritage List. Although nearly 10% of the 1092 properties on the World Heritage List are estimated to include the territories of Indigenous peoples (Disko and Tugendhat 2014: 3), less than forty have been inscribed for their Indigenous cultural values.” 

Source: Indigenous Knowledge and Resource Management as World Heritage Values: Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, Australia (

9.Complicating or problematising the nature of the World Heritage list with this statement in mind, how might you make changes to the criteria for inclusion to be more respectful of Indigenous knowledge and culture?  

10.Watching this video, what specific criteria were referred to, and how did the landscape and cultural practices establish this site as appropriate for being added to the list? 

11.What changes would being added to the UNESCO world heritage list mean for a site like Budj Bim?  

Related activities within this resources:

Lake Surprise

Activity 1 - Researching Budj Bim

Students will undertake a research task into the cultural connections of the Budj Bim people to country, their development and use of environmental management strategies over thousands of years, and the modern context of collaborative management of the area

Lake Surprise

Activity 2 - Budj Bim Timeline tasks: change and continuity

Within these two tasks, students will explore change and continuity within the landscape of Budj Bim, including the UNESCO world heritage list process.

Suggested timing:

One to two lessons

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