Heritage & Archives

Heritage encompasses our inherited traditions, places, objects and culture. The cultural heritage of a place is embodied within its built fabric, surroundings, historic use and the various meanings, memories and stories it represents. Way Back When works closely with heritage consultants to prepare site histories, thematic histories, heritage assessments and cultural heritage management plans.


Eureka Centre Thematic Framework

This project involved Way Back When creating a Thematic Framework for the interpretation of the newly rebranded Eureka Centre and Gardens in Ballarat. This is the first step in the City of Ballarat’s commitment to preparing an integrated Interpretation Plan for the facility and the surrounding site. Consultation with the community and stakeholders is a key component of the project.

Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre Heritage Trail

The Bundoora Homestead became a community arts centre in 2001 after the local community saved it from destruction. Built on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people, the magnificent homestead was built by the Smith family in 1899. From 1920 until 1993, it was used as a repatriation hospital for returned soldiers who required care due to the psychological impacts of their war experiences. It was the place where Dr John Cade discovered lithium as an effective treatment for bipolar disorder, which revolutionised mental health treatments around the world. In 2018 Way Back When created a heritage trail that sits inside the homestead and allows visitors to explore the history of the Smith family and the repatriation hospital. To accompany the heritage trail, we also created two education kits for school children aged 7 to 12 years.

City of Port Phillip Heritage Recognition Program

Way Back When has worked with the City of Port Phillip researching and writing text for heritage plaques for sites selected as part of the municipality’s Heritage Recognition Program. The sites encompass the areas of Sandridge, South Melbourne, Albert Park, Balaclava, Elwood, Montague, St Kilda and Port Melbourne.

Chasing Buckley’s Way: Exploring the Northern Bellarine Masterplan

Way Back When was engaged by Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine to develop a masterplan proposal for an interpretive heritage trail along the Bellarine coast. It involved research into the history of the area and existing tourist and heritage experiences, as well as community consultation. This was all synthesised into the final report. Chasing Buckley’s Way: Exploring the Northern Bellarine is a masterplan for an engaging and interactive experience-based trail between Portarlington and St Leonards, showcasing the natural landscape, indigenous flora and fauna and exploring local stories of identity, cultural heritage, local industry and tourist attractions.

Royal Children's Hospital Significance Assessment and Collection Policy Development

After undertaking a Heritage Interpretation Strategy and plan in 2015 with Context and Way Back When, The Royal Children’s Hospital is moving towards implementing some of the recommendations made in the final document. The first of these is a Significance Assessment and Collection Policy Development. Way Back When worked with Context on this project, delving into the remarkable collection, assessing its significance and working with the hospital to develop policies that will enable greater access.

Royal Children’s Hospital Strategic Heritage Interpretation

Way Back When was part of a team of consultants, including historians, heritage specialists and visual communication and graphic designers, that undertook a project to explore the history and heritage of the Royal Children’s Hospital. As a team we developed a strategic framework that will guide the hospital’s approach to celebrating and communicating its history over the next decade, including the hospital’s 150th anniversary in 2020. Our role as project historians was to research the hospital’s history through an exploration of its tangible and intangible heritage and produce a rich narrative of the hospital’s history and heritage themes.


Thematic History of Public Housing in Victoria

The history of public housing in Victoria stretches back to early last century. For many, public housing evokes images of high-rise apartments and large blocks of flats. However, public housing and its history is about much more. Along with heritage and environment consultants, Context, Way Back When researched and wrote a thematic history of public housing in Victoria.  


Migration Heritage Study

This project was commissioned by Heritage Victoria to develop a framework for assessing places and objects of significance to post World War Two migrants and migrant communities in Victoria. Way Back When worked as a part of a project team led by Context on the preparation of a thematic history, which involved detailed research into Victoria's built heritage and comprehensive analysis of immigration policy in Victoria and Australia in the post war period.


Cultural Heritage Management Plans and site histories

Way Back When has worked closely with Andrew Long & Associates on some 40 Cultural Heritage Management Plans and site histories, focussing on post contact land use of specific localities including sites in Frankston, Cranbourne, Shaw River, Keysborough, Geelong, Ouyen, Chiltern, Wangaratta, Seaspray, Tootgarook, Dromana, Rosebud West, Sale, Fitzroy, Brunswick, Mernda, Alphington, Carrum Downs and central Melbourne.

Similar heritage work has been carried out for Lovell Chen – Architects & Heritage Consultants on the site of the Former State Research Farm at Werribee and Olympic and Melbourne Parks, Bacchus Marsh, Malvern and Fitzroy.


Mount Macedon Heritage Assessment

Way Back When worked with architectural firm Woodhead International to compile a historical summary of land at Mount Macedon, as part of a heritage assessment. Incorporating pre and post European contact research, the report includes the main elements of the site's heritage significance and land use.



Argus Building Historical Background Study

The historic Argus building, on the corner of Elizabeth and La Trobe streets, was constructed in 1926 and for 30 years housed one of Melbourne's oldest newspapers. The building is classified by the National Trust and Heritage Victoria and has been the scene of many great events.

Way Back When was employed by La Trobe University to compile a comprehensive history of the site. This research focuses on the occupation and built fabric of the site at various periods and considers events and people that have been linked to the property, in particular its association with one of the nation’s great newspapers that gives this building special significance.


Beersheba Barracks Wangaratta Heritage Maintenance Plan

Way Back When worked as a part of a project team led by architectural and design firm Woodhead International to undertake research into the history of the Beersheba Barracks site in Wangaratta, Victoria. The historical summary that was prepared formed part of a Heritage Maintenance Plan to identify the historical value and significance of the site in order to inform decisions about the site's maintenance and management.

The Beersheba Barracks site is representative of the history of the Army in Wangaratta and, as many of the buildings and sites that tie Wangaratta to its military past no longer exist, the site is highly significant as one of the last remaining symbols of this long association. This research required the use of a range of records in the national archives and state records, as well as consultation with local historical societies, Returned Services League branches and various military museums.

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