This article investigates the relationship between industrial heritage and regional identity during deindustrialization in three Australian regions. Newcastle, in the state of New South Wales (NSW), was a coal-mining and steel-production center located north of Sydney. Wollongong, also in NSW, was a coal-mining and steel-production region centered around Port Kembla, near the town of Wollongong. The Latrobe Valley was a brown coal-mining and electricity-production center east of Melbourne. All regions display a limited profile for industrial heritage within their formal policies and representations. In Newcastle and Wollongong, the adoption of the language of the postindustrial city has limited acknowledgement of the industrial past, while the Latrobe Valley’s industrial heritage is increasingly framed by concerns over current economic challenges and climate change.
Negotiating Industrial Heritage and Regional Identity in Three Australian Regions
Erik Eklund is a professor of history and director of the Centre for Gippsland Studies at the Churchill campus of Federation University Australia. In 2015 and 2016 he was the Keith Cameron Chair in Australian History at University College Dublin. His major works include Steel Town: The Making and Breaking of Port Kembla (2002), and Mining Towns: Making a Living, Making a Life (2012). He has research interests in labor history, regional history, social policy, and welfare history, as well as industrial heritage. He grew up in Wollongong and lived and worked in Newcastle from 1994 to 2007. After two years in Dublin, he now resides in the Latrobe Valley region.
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Erik Eklund; Negotiating Industrial Heritage and Regional Identity in Three Australian Regions. The Public Historian 1 November 2017; 39 (4): 44–64. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2017.39.4.44
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