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David Dolan

David Dolan

David Dolan has been Professor of Cultural Heritage at Curtin University, Western Australia, since 1995. He is now Vice-President of the National Trust (WA), having been its Chairman 2001-7. He has served on the Heritage Council of WA for nine years including stints on its Development Committee and Register Committee.

David was previously Manager of Collection Development and Research at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. He has been actively involved in community museum and heritage work, as author of numerous reports, conservation plans and interpretation strategies. He has been a Director of AusHeritage, and served on the Board of the Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame. He is currently on the Maritime Archaeology Advisory Committee of the Western Australian Museum, and the Golden Pipeline Council of the National Trust. For five years he was a director of the Australian Council of National Trusts.

David has studied and taught history of art and architecture, heritage and museology, and his doctorate is in History and Philosophy of Science. He has been an invited and keynote speaker at history, heritage and museum conferences in Australia, England, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the USA, also publishing in professional journals in several of those countries plus Canada. In 2006 he taught masterclasses at UNESCO in Paris for the “Sharing our Heritages”

Paper: The Engineer as Landscaper and Cultural Warrior

Abstract: In 1910, American philosopher William James called on governments of all nations to eschew fighting each other, and instead jointly pursue “the moral equivalent of war”— a War Against Nature. Believing the world to be fundamentally hostile to the human struggle for survival, James was inspired by the projects of the great nineteenth-century engineers. He saw their work as a grand cultural endeavour, transcending merely building infrastructure to solve local practical problems.

Pipelines, railways, roads, tunnels, bridges and canals tie formerly separate places and people together, creating new political, economic and population zones. The engineers of the Victorian and Edwardian era literally reshaped the landscape and redrew the maps, changing forever the ways we experience, conceptualise and understand the environment. In the context of the British Empire, impressive engineering works were articulated to enhance the credibility of the imperial enterprise.

The visual impact on the physical landscape was controversial, but the new spatial and cultural reality they created is reflected in landscape art and popular national imagery. The fame and drama that surrounded C. Y. O’Connor in Australia and New Zealand, and his international peers, made them significant cultural figures in their own right, as influential as literary or visual artists in creating cultural imagery and sense of place.

Sir Neil Cossons
Paul Davies
David Dolan
Wayne Johnson
Euan McQueen
Robert McWilliam
Duncan Waterson
David Beauchamp
Trevor Butler
Matthew Churchward
Andrew Cleland
Rachael Egerton
John Fitzmaurice
Don Fraser
John Gibson
Owen Graham
David Hamilton
Bill Harvey
Peter Holmes
Kevin Jones
Paul Mahoney
Tom Williamson
Peter Lowe
Peter Marquis-Kyle
Gavin McLean
Rob Merrifield
Owen Peake
Miles Pierce
John Porter
Nigel Ridgway
Tony Silke
Jim Staton
Richard Venus
Ian Walsh
Daniel Woo
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