The key organisation representing the profession of Heritage interpretation within Australia is Interpretation Australia – www.interpretationaustralia.asn.au. So what is Heritage interpretation? … here are a few perspectives
The best interpretation comes from the heart and is laced with imagination, creativity, inspiration, relevance and personal commitment. Tilden
Interpretation is a means of communicating ideas and feelings, which help people enrich their understanding and appreciation of the world and their role within it. Interpretation Australia Association
The essence of good interpretation is that it reveals a new insight into what makes a place special. It gives people new understanding. James Carter – A Sense of Place.
For me, heritage interpretation is about facilitating experiences that lead to a meaningful gain for people and place.
So these are a few perspectives on Interpretation, no one more in use than the other nor used with universal acceptance. This latter element can sometimes be frustrating, especially as the profession of Interpretation is difficult to explain to those working outside this field. It can make for interesting conversations at social gatherings, resulting in a mix of understanding from ‘so you work in tourism’ to you ‘nods of slight confusion’ and unconvincely declarations of ‘i’ve got it’. Regardless of how Interpretation is defined its essence, principles and purpose are focused on experiences that are emotive (generally fun and enjoyable), engaging, evocative and communicate messages.