Expanded Historical and Built Heritage Services

Unprecedented investment in infrastructure and urban development in Victoria continues to grow apace. This means expertise that can be trusted to facilitate the smooth rollout of projects is more important than ever.

To keep up with strong demand for reliable cultural heritage specialists, we welcome two new experts:
Michelle Knehans (Senior Historical Heritage Advisor) and Giselle Harris (Senior Built Heritage Advisor).

Michelle and Giselle join our Cultural Heritage team of more than 25 highly respected heritage professionals including archaeologists, historians, planners and GIS specialists.

Giselle Harris
Senior Built Heritage Advisor
Bachelor of Arts (History and Archaeology), Masters of Heritage and Management Conservation, Graduate Diploma of Urban Planning and Community Development

Giselle has spent the past seven years consulting in the private sector in Melbourne, and six years in the public service throughout Australia prior to that. Over the duration of her career she has contributed to a wide variety of projects including heritage studies, desktop assessments, significance assessments, heritage impact analyses, policy formation and conservation management plans. This has included working closely with the Victorian State Government and local councils, property owners, managers and developers to provide expert advice on heritage issues and planning in relation to new works, alterations or additions to heritage listed buildings.

Giselle has a detailed knowledge of heritage planning issues and is well-accustomed to engaging with and preparing heritage impact advice for submission to municipal councils and Heritage Victoria.

Michelle Knehans
Senior Historical Heritage Advisor
Bachelor of Heritage Management (Hons)

Michelle has over 13 years’ experience as a heritage consultant in Melbourne. She has worked extensively on a range of projects including desktop assessments, preliminary appraisals, heritage impact statements, permit applications to Heritage Victoria and local councils for both large-scale and smaller residential development proposals, predictive archaeological assessments and conservation management plans. She has also been involved in the preparation of interpretive signage for several heritage sites.

Michelle's early career work involved undertaking historical and archival research to establish the development history of a range of sites. More recently, Michelle has provided technical advice on a number of large-scale infrastructure projects.

Michelle's Honours thesis analysed nineteenth century pharmacy collection in Chiltern, Victoria, to identify the types of pharmacy material which could form part of the archaeological record.


built heritage work is undertaken in accordance with the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter (2013) – a best practice document that defines the principles and processes of conservation and management for places of cultural heritage significance.

We work closely with the Victorian State Government and local councils, property owners, managers and developers to provide expert advice on the significance of places and appropriate interventions in significant heritage contexts with regard to design, materials and detailing of new built form.

Proposals for works may be in relation to individually listed places or buildings located within a heritage precinct. Our team have extensive knowledge of heritage planning issues in relation to new works, alterations or additions to heritage listed buildings and are well-accustomed to preparing heritage assessments and impact advice for submission to municipal councils and Heritage Victoria.


Historical Archaeology

Historical archaeological sites are protected by the Victorian Heritage Act 2017, and management of these sites is undertaken by our team in consultation with Heritage Victoria.

Our projects range from historical and predictive archaeological assessments, investigations and site surveys, Consent applications to Heritage Victoria to uncover, excavate or damage archaeological sites, excavation and salvage of both large-scale and smaller sites, recording and reporting on archaeological sites, assessment of archaeological value and due diligence appraisals.

Maritime Heritage

Maritime heritage includes historic shipwrecks and shipwreck artefacts as well as jetties, piers, navigation structures, sunken aircraft and ship building sites. Maritime heritage is variously protected by the Heritage Act 2017 and Commonwealth maritime legislation.

Our involvement in maritime projects includes heritage assessments as well as permit and consent applications.


Built Heritage

  • Built heritage assessments and preliminary appraisals

  • Community consultation, presentations and workshops
  • Conservation Management Plans
  • Dry Stone Wall Management Plans
  • Expert witness (appeals, tribunals and Panel hearings)
  • Facilitation of heritage amendments
  • Heritage Impact Statements
  • Heritage policy and guideline development and analysis
  • Impact mitigation recommendations
  • Preparation of applications for consents and permits (to government agencies)

Historical Heritage (Archaeology and Maritime)

  • Archaeological sub-surface testing, excavation and salvage

  • Artefact analysis

  • Background, historical and ethnographical research

  • Compliance audits

  • Due diligence and desktop assessments
  • Historical and predictive archaeological assessments
  • Maritime heritage assessments, permits and consents
  • Predictive modelling and GIS mapping of historic sites

More About Our Work

Ecology and Heritage Partners are known for our extensive experience in working collaboratively with corporate and private clients, as well as authorities at all levels of government in both rural and urban environments.

Our team are consistent, dynamic contributors to cultural heritage assessments, impact analysis and policy development.

As trusted advisors, we are often called on for expert cultural heritage advice. We regularly provide expert evidence and advice on planning panels and at Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearings.

Our approach is always pragmatic and professional. Our priority is to achieve the best possible outcomes for your project whilst ensuring heritage values are protected and where possible enhanced.

Further Information

Contact our Cultural Heritage Team on 1300 839 325 if you have any questions or to discuss your project.

Download Built and Historical Heritage Capability Statement

Top image by Simona Flamigni

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