The conservation and future use approach to the management of the Fremantle Prison precinct has ensured its history and significance are maintained while providing for continuing use of the site. All works at the site are guided by the ‘Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance - The Burra Charter’ and ‘Fremantle Prison: a policy for its conservation’ by James Semple Kerr (1992, revised 1998).
Cultural heritage pertains to the integrated links of humanity with history. It has many aspects, both tangible and intangible. Cultural heritage is founded on aspects of the past that should be retained, valued and passed on to future generations. These elements reflect history, and can evoke special meaning for people as individuals or as members of a community.
The Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Deakin University, Melbourne define cultural heritage is a multi-dimensional concept that includes:
- Tangible, immovable features such as historic places, monuments, structures, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes.
- Tangible but moveable objects such as works of art, artefacts, scientific specimens, photographs, books, manuscripts and recorded moving image and sound.
- Intangible objects, especially expressions of a community's culture such as language, religion, oral histories, folk stories, song and dances, traditional crafts and building skills.
(Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Deakin University, Melbourne. 2008. ‘What is Cultural Heritage? http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts-ed/chcap/ch.php. Accessed March 30, 2009)