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2015 Fabric



Australia ICOMOS’s national conference will be held in Adelaide from 5 to 8 November 2015. The conference is about Fabric – The Threads of Conservation. Fabric can be the tangible and the intangible elements of a site, building, area or landscape, which have significance to our society and therefore form part of our evolving culture.

Based on previous Australia ICOMOS conferences, Fabric will attract up to 300 professional Australian and international delegates. Renowned keynote speakers will stimulate discussion and share experiences and perspectives on the theme of Fabric.

Fabric is a forum to gather and debate the issues associated with the conservation of heritage fabric. Issues include: understanding and stewardship of traditional and technical conservation skills, engaging communities in conservation, advancing conservation knowledge, exploring new technologies, and fostering of training opportunities for the future conservation and interpretation of heritage fabric.

By understanding the skills and knowledge of the past, and developing the technologies of the future, Fabric will provide an opportunity for advancing conservation standards in Australia.



The conference will be held in Adelaide, South Australia. There will be two days of paper and keynote presentations and a day of field trips. There is a unique opportunity to present some papers in the field.

The Australia ICOMOS Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday afternoon, 5 November 2015, prior to the Welcome Reception on Thursday evening. The National Wine Centre will host the Friday 6 November conference opening, keynote speakers, and formal paper and snapshot presentations. An emerging professionals and mentoring event will be held at the Art Gallery of South Australia on the Friday night.

Field trips are planned on Saturday 7 November to several locations around Adelaide, where you can hear more about hands-on conservation. There is an opportunity to present some of the conference formal papers and snapshots in the field. The Saturday night conference dinner will be held in the Mortlock Chamber of the State Library of South Australia, an impressive 1873 three-tiered library space.

The third day of the conference will include keynote and paper presentations and be held at the National Wine Centre. The conference will conclude with a plenary session and Rapporteur address at 4.00pm.

A post-conference tour is planned to Burra. A Quality Conservation Forum, separate to the conference programme, is being held in Adelaide on Wednesday 4 November, which will have limited numbers.

Click on the links below for more information on:

The FABRIC 2015 Delegates Google Map is also a handy resource.



FABRIC 2015 will explore three themes encompassing the issues associated with heritage fabric – in keynote addresses, session papers, snapshots, field trips and plenary discussions. The themes are woven around the concept and Burra Charter approach to heritage fabric. Is this approach still valid in Australia today? As society evolves, diversifies, changes focus and direction, should we also adapt in our approach, to continue to be relevant to community expectations as heritage professionals? FABRIC 2015 provides a forum to discuss the relevancy and future direction (and arguable need for reinvigoration) of cultural heritage management in Australia.

The key themes include:

  • Social fabric: Sustaining memory; Intangible values; Engaging communities

The theme will focus on the community’s attitude to fabric and heritage. We see heritage fabric as an illustration of the identity and memory of a community – evidence of the stories that matter. Does the community see heritage in the same way? Are we disengaged with community values? The theme will also explore the role communities have in heritage management – the identification, conservation and interpretation of heritage fabric. Grass roots support for heritage may be more sustainable than government policy. Finally, heritage values are not always fabric based. Values can also be spiritual, intangible and social in value.

  • Fabric and place: Understanding significance embedded in places, landscapes and sites

The exploration of the interaction between fabric and place has been a popular topic for many presenters. Selected papers explore a diversity of issues associated with heritage places – in Australia and overseas – from an interpretation, management and opportunity perspective. Other papers explore our understanding of the heritage values embedded in sites (fabric) and ponder the future management and relevance of these values. Cultural landscapes are also discussed – how do we manage these important landscapes into the future?

  • Conserving fabric: Developing skills; Advancing technologies; Sustaining practice

This theme examines the future of fabric conservation. Discussion will revolve around the loss of traditional trades and knowledge in Australia and potential strategies to provide training opportunities – for both trades and the community. Latest best-practice building conservation practice will also be explored through several papers discussing recent research, new technologies and case studies. Finally, the theme session will consider the future of fabric conservation in Australia and how some training programmes are starting to support the development of specialist conservation skills – needed to maintain our heritage of the future.



The call for papers is now closed. Session Chairs should be in touch with speakers during October. For any queries regarding presentations at the conference, please contact Deborah Lindsay by email.



Visit the Keynote Speakers page for more information.



Friday 6 and Sunday 8 November: National Wine Centre

The award winning National Wine Centre is on North Terrace, Adelaide, adjacent to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and National Rose Gardens. The National Wine Centre will host the first and last days of the conference.

Friday 6 November: Art Gallery of South Australia

An evening function is organised for young and emerging professionals and conference delegates at the Art Gallery of South Australia. The classical style building was opened in 1900. The Gallery houses a large collection of some 38,000 works, with a focus on Australian art, Aboriginal art, British art and Asian art, textiles and ceramics. 

Saturday 7 November: Mortlock Chamber

The conference dinner will be held in the historic Mortlock Chamber at the State Library of South Australia in the evening. The Mortlock Chamber is and impressive 1873 three-tiered library space. It was designed by Colonial architect E.J. Woods

More information on the conference venues



Registration is now open! Please visit the Registration page for further details.



The conference will appeal to academics, local government planners and councillors, state and federal government officials, architects, engineers, historians, landscape architects, archaeologists and others with a general interest in the concept of heritage and fabric.



Visit the Travel & Accommodation page for more information.



Thanks to the Content and Organisation Work Group members, paper review panel members, field trip organisers and post-conference tour organisers for all their work so far.

The conference conveners would also like to thank the Adelaide Convention Bureau for their assistance. The Adelaide Convention Bureau releases photographs solely for the purpose of positive promotion of South Australia as a business event and travel destination. Any breach of this condition may result in legal action.



Michael Queale, Australia ICOMOS
Kevin O’Sullivan, Australia ICOMOS
Deborah Lindsay, Australia ICOMOS



Bradley Hayden
Countrywide Conference & Event Management
PO Box 5013
Phone: (02) 6023 6300
Fax: (02) 6023 6355

email Bradley Hayden