The racialisation of local heritage

Ryan Al-Natour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The region of Camden, located on the outskirts of Sydney, is a growing area set to morph from a country town to a thriving suburban district. In 2007, a Sydney Islamic charity sought to build an Islamic school in the region. Local opponents protested the application in ways that expressed contemporary forms of anti-Muslim racisms in Australia. This article pays close attention to the narratives of heritage within these voices of opposition, as a sizeable number of protesters claimed the school would violate the local settler heritage in Camden. In uncovering these discourses, it was evident that a narrative of white peaceful settlement informed the ways locals mobilised local heritage in relation to the school. The racialisation and whiteness of local heritage negated the Aboriginal presence and history in Camden, and provided a template for the maintenance of white colonial hegemony and the construction of many racialised discourses. Further, these racialisations underpinned the popular anti-Muslim sentiment expressed in ways that positioned local heritage as that of national significance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-482
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 04 Feb 2017


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