ACT Heritage Council

The ACT Heritage Council (the Council) is an independent, statutory body responsible for a range of provisions under the Heritage Act 2004 including:

  • identifying, assessing, conserving and promoting heritage places and objects in the ACT
  • making decisions about the registration of heritage places and objects
  • providing advice on works and development matters in accordance with the ACT’s land planning and development system
  • encouraging and assisting with appropriate management of heritage places and objects
  • encouraging public interest in, and awareness of, heritage places and objects in the ACT.

The Council comprises the Chief Planning Executive and Conservator of Flora and Fauna as ex-officio members and nine members appointed by the Minister. Three of these appointments are public representatives, including a representative from each of the ACT community, the Aboriginal community and the property ownership, management and development sector. The remaining six appointed members are experts in one or more of the following disciplines: Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal history, archaeology, architecture, engineering, history, landscape architecture, nature conservation, object conservation, town planning and urban design.

Appointed Council members are not government employees. Appointments are part-time and operate on an as-needs basis. Members, including the chair and deputy chair, attend meetings and Tribunal hearings, make decisions and determinations, review material and respond to media and other queries as required – often in addition to their own full or part-time regular employment. In this way, the Council operates in a similar way to many committees or management boards for various organisations and companies.

For this reason, it is not possible to make direct contact with Council members and the Council does not occupy any office space. If you have an enquiry, ACT Heritage, staffed by public officers, is the point of contact. Staff will act on behalf of the Minister or Council in responding to your queries or, where the need arises, will contact the Council or Minister on your behalf to seek further response.

You can contact ACT Heritage on 13 22 81 or by email to

Mr David Flannery (Expert in architecture)

Mr David Flannery is a current member of the ACT Heritage Council under the discipline of Architecture, and Chair of the Council.

Mr Flannery has a Bachelor of Architecture and a Masters in Architectural Conservation. He has extensive experience of architectural and heritage conservation matters in the ACT having managed his own architectural practice. Mr Flannery is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and a Member of the Planning Institute of Australia.  He is a former member of the ACT Heritage Council (2003-05) and a past ACT Chapter President of the Australian Institute of Architects (2008-10). He continues to maintain roles as a researcher at Canberra Urban and Regional Futures at the University of Canberra and the Managing Director of David Flannery Architects.

Dr Ken Heffernan (Expert in archaeology)

Dr Ken Heffernan is a current member of the ACT Heritage Council under the discipline of Archaeology, and recently appointed Deputy Chair of the Council.

Dr Heffernan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-History, Bachelor of Laws and a PhD in Archaeology. Dr Heffernan served as the
ACT Heritage Council Deputy Chair from 1995-97 and as a member from 1992-95. Dr Heffernan has worked as a consultant in Aboriginal and historical archaeology as well as a lecturer in archaeology at ANU. He is currently semi-retired, volunteering at the Hall School Museum.

Mr Gary Shipp (Aboriginal community representative)

Mr Shipp is a Wiradjuri man, originally from Dubbo, NSW. Mr Shipp has lived in the ACT since 1976, developing close relationships with the Aboriginal community in the ACT and surrounding areas. Mr Shipp was previously the Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre at ANU.  He has also served as the Inaugural Director of the Centre for Indigenous Studies at Charles Sturt University and Head of the Dubbo Campus. Mr Shipp was most recently the Special Adviser Indigenous Affairs at Charles Sturt University, until his retirement in 2013.

Mr Doug Williams (Expert in archaeology)

Mr Doug Williams, a consultant archaeologist, is the Council’s expert in the discipline of archaeology. Mr Williams holds a BA (Hons) in archaeology, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Cultural Heritage Management) and is a full member of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists. He has experience in both Aboriginal and historical archaeology. In addition to working as a consultant in the ACT, NSW, Victoria, SA, WA and Queensland, Mr Williams has worked for the NSW and Victorian State governments as an archaeologist and heritage manager, including four years as the Executive Officer for the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area. Through this long standing archaeological career, Mr Williams has worked extensively and cooperatively with Aboriginal people and has a deep appreciation of their cultures and histories. Whilst a current resident of NSW, Mr Williams has a demonstrated strong and enduring connection to the ACT, having lived here for 11 years, and having strong educational and work connections in the ACT.

Ms Rachel Jackson (Expert in architecture)

Ms Rachel Jackson has over 20 years experience in the heritage field and is to be appointed against the architecture discipline. After completing a Bachelor of Design and Masters of Heritage Conservation, Ms Jackson has worked in multiple areas of heritage practice (public and private) including strategic heritage advice, heritage impact assessments, heritage assessments, conservation management plans, cultural landscape assessment, as well as management and sustainability in heritage. She is currently the Principal Director of GML Heritage and is a member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes Committee and the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Energy and Sustainability Committee.

Professor Nicholas Brown (Expert in history)

Professor Nicholas Brown is currently the head of the School of History and Professor of History at the ANU. Professor Brown notes a particular interest in the relationship between historic context and contemporary planning issues demonstrating a balanced and pragmatic approach to heritage places and objects. He has published several works dealing with the ACT’s urban history and planning, heritage, policy and processes including the publication A History of Canberra. He is the current Chair of the Commonwealth working party for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and also the current convenor of the Canberra Museum and Gallery’s Advisory Committee. Professor Brown is appointed against the historian discipline.

Ms Edwina Jans (Community representative)

Ms Edwina Jans is an experienced heritage professional having worked on and managed several significant heritage sites across the country and internationally. She has extensive experience presenting heritage education to the general public and to other heritage professionals. She has been a member of various heritage and community boards and committees including government and professional bodies. She has had a significant role in the heritage, education and redevelopment programs at Old Parliament House.

Ms Gay Williamson (Property Ownership, Management and Development Sector representative)

Ms Gay Williamson is a landscape architect. She holds extensive experience in the broader urban planning, management and development issues in the ACT. She has chaired many professional working and awards committees including the Australian Institute of Architects, Planning Institute of Australia and the Master Builders Association. She has been a guest speaker at the
ACT Woman’s Council and several national design and planning conferences.

Ms Amanda Evans (Expert in landscape architecture)

Ms Amanda Evans is a landscape architect who has had focus on heritage, policy and engagement. Her studies, research and teaching have had a strong focus on the ACT’s heritage with numerous projects, including master plans, focusing on the conservation, interpretation and integration into the ACT land planning and development system. Her role as the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) President has focused on engagement with government and community groups which is supported by her involvement in several ACT community groups.