Tracy Ireland

Professor of Cultural Heritage

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Tracy Ireland is Associate Dean Research and Professor of Cultural Heritage in the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, and President of Australia ICOMOS. Since 2009, Tracy has led research and teaching across UC's GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums), heritage, conservation and cultural leadership related courses, including the development on the Master of Arts in Creative and Cultural Futures. Tracy's career has also included working for the New South Wales Department of Planning and Heritage Council as the State Archaeologist and heading up the Canberra Office of GML Heritage. She undertook a PhD at the University of Sydney, awarded in 2002, and  has published extensively on historical archaeology, digital heritage, heritage management and conservation and their entanglement with nationalism and colonialism. Tracy has prepared heritage assessments and management plans for some of Australia's most significant places, including the Old Great North Road World Heritage site, the Australian War Memorial, Old Parliament House and the Blacktown Native Institution.

Tracy is known internationally for her research on heritage practice, ethics, and the social values of heritage and she has  published on the archaeology and heritage of colonialism in Australia, New Zealand, Quebec, North Eastern USA, and in Cyprus, as a member of the Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project. Her recent papers and books include 'Situating (in)significance' (with Steve Brown and John Schofield), Connecting the Nation: A thematic history of civil aviation (with Paul Aston, Mitchell Whitelaw and Alison Wain), The ethics of cultural heritage (with John Schofield), and Object Lessons: Archaeology and heritage in Australia (with Jane Lydon).

Tracy supervises a dynamic co-hort of PhD candidates and has had 8 PhD and 1 Masters by research complete successfully since 2015.

In 2017 Tracy was visiting Research Fellow at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Tracy is currently the Lead Chief Investigator for two ARC Linkage projects-  Heritage of the Air, 2018-2022, a digital and community focussed project studying how communities value the heritage of Australian aviation, partnering with Airservices Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the SFO Museum and the Civil Aviation Historical Society, and Everyday Heritage 2022-2025,  a project that will develop tools for communitites and heritage managers to give value to underrepresented groups and their stories.





Research interests

Member of Climate Change Adaptation Resilience and Recovery Network

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Artefact of Nation: historical archaeology, heritage and nationalism in Australia, University of Sydney

Award Date: 17 May 2002

External positions

Visiting Research Fellow, University of Stirling

25 Aug 201720 Dec 2017

Visiting Research Fellow, University of Technology Sydney

25 Jan 201320 Dec 2013


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