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Welcome to the 3rd Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference

Welcome from the MAYOR OF DUNEDIN CITY -- Peter Chin

Mayoral Welcome

City of Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin











Owen Peake On behalf of Engineering Heritage Australia it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this 3rd Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference in Dunedin.

Collaboration between the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, Engineering Heritage Board and Engineering Heritage Australia is an important element in increasing inter-organisation and international co-operation in the Engineering Heritage field. This joint conference is a strong physical indicator of the co-operation between our two organisations. We must use this opportunity to strengthen the bonds between us. There is a long tradition of New Zealand and Australia working together and punching above our weight. By working together we can find better ways to bring Engineering Heritage to the notice of the members of our parent bodies and to our broader public audience.

Increasing collaboration at the wider international level is also important. A great deal of excellent Engineering Heritage work is being done in Europe and North America and there is much we can learn from our colleagues there. Whilst they have vastly greater resources, we can learn from their successes.

This conference has a broad set of themes. This is important as Engineering Heritage has a constant struggle to gain a wider audience and one of the ways we can do this is to cover a broad range of interests.

We should take an interest in the heritage of all engineering technologies. Dams and bridges are not enough. We must look at mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, hydraulic engineering and all the transport modes – land, sea, air and space. We must also recognise the heritage from the more specialised engineering branches such as agricultural, biomedical, chemical, communications, environmental, IT and mining.

We should consider all timeframes from our earliest history to the Engineering Heritage which is developing before our very eyes. We must try to preserve and record as much of our early Engineering Heritage as we can. At the same time we must recognise more recent, fast moving technologies, before they, too, disappear. For example the retirement of a ship or an aircraft type may leave us with no remaining examples very quickly unless we are observant and press for recognition of significance.

We should not deal only with those sites which demonstrate engineering innovation at a high level but also sites which illustrate standard engineering practice of their time but had great social or cultural significance or were associated with important individuals.

I wish you an enjoyable and fruitful conference.

Chair, National Board

Welcome from the Engineering New Zealand HERITAGE CHAIRPERSON -- Rob WilkinsonRob Wilkinson

Welcome to the third Australasian Engineering Heritage conference in Dunedin. This is a region and a city rich in New Zealand engineering heritage.

As Owen Peake says in his welcome note, this conference is a great opportunity to improve the collaboration between our respective heritage organisations. It's interesting to see the parallels in our thinking, the issues we face and the collaborative opportunities.

There is also, as Owen says, the need to consider all timeframes for potential heritage. On our board we coined the phrase "future Heritage" to describe projects and achievements which are recognised today as having all the elements of heritage engineering except age. It is getting easier every day to record and capture huge amounts of information about engineering achievements as they happen.

ICOMOS has recently begun to place greater emphasis on intangible Heritage, but I think that we engineers can add to that the dimension of the intangible and invisible underpinning engineering achievements which daily serve our modern societies. As a former telecommunications engineer I am particularly interested in ways to recognise and promote intangible and invisible engineering heritage such as for example: telephone systems, computer networks and software.

Its exciting too to explore the means by which such modern technologies as Global Positioning (GPS) can be used to identify, record, inform and promote engineering heritage.

Enjoy the conference and its beautiful surroundings.

Rob Wilkinson

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