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Study Guide : Landscapes and Landforms: Valuing Landscapes and Landforms

Geography - Landscapes & Landforms

Cultural value

Cultural value is linked to the importance of landforms and landscapes as expressed by people through creative means such as poetry, literature art and films. Australia's landscapes and landforms have shaped Australian culture and identity.

Aboriginal Australians express the importance of the land to them through Dreaming stories, song, dance and their art. Nearly all Aboriginal art relates to the landscape and maps the landscape and the landforms of importance to the Aboriginal community.

The Art of Aboriginal Australians

People of the Torres Strait

Chapters 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13 include various footage of the spiritual connection of the landscape of the Torres Straits islands and its people through art, dance, totems, idols, masks, songs and traditional ceremony,

Spiritual value

For Aboriginal Australians the spiritual value of land is expressed through the concept of 'Country'.

Aboriginal peoples believe that the myths of their Dreaming bind them to the land. Their ancestors live on through the land and ensure their continued connection with it. Landscapes contain many sacred sites of spiritual importance.

Economic value

Economic value is a measurement of how financially important landscapes and landforms are.

  • Economic value is relevant to the tourism and mining industries in Australia.
  • The mining industry attaches economic value to landscapes that contain sought after metals and minerals like coal and gold.
  • Tourism Victoria, for example, wants regular visitors to its state because people spend money on accommodation, transport, food, ..
  • The Great Ocean Road is a landscape in Victoria with a high economic value due to its popularity with tourists.


Mining Rehabilitation

Competing value

The same landscape can be valued by different people for a variety of reasons. For example,

  • To a mining corporation, the economic value of the landscape might be most important.
  • To an Indigenous Australian community, the spiritual value may be most important.
  •  An artist would appreciate the aesthetic value of a landform.

Aesthetic value

The aesthetic value of a landscape is closely linked to its beauty and uniqueness. An individual might be drawn to a particular landform because of its overwhelming majesty, creating a personal connection to the place.


The aesthetic value of the landscape to the community has been recognised through the creation of national parks. The first national park in Australia, The Royal National Park south of Sydney, was established in 1879.


Victoria : Mornington to Port Campbell

Includes the building of the Great Ocean Road

The Great Australian Bight


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