What Is Interpretation?

IA believes that interpretation enriches our lives through engaging emotions, enhancing experiences and deepening the understanding of places, people, events and objects from the past and present. Interpretation communicates ideas, information and knowledge in a way which helps people to make sense of their environment.

IA aims to support interpreters Australia-wide in the practice and delivery of interpretation.

IA What is Interpretation?Interpretation communicates ideas, information and knowledge about locations, the natural world or historic places in a way which helps visitors to make sense of their environment. Good interpretation will create engaging, unique and meaningful experiences for visitors.

Interpretation takes many forms including guided walks, talks, drama, art, sculpture, displays, signs, brochures and electronic media as well as any other way in which ideas can be communicated.


Good interpretation should:

  • enrich the visitor’s experience by making it more meaningful and enjoyable;
  • assist the visitor to develop a keener awareness, appreciation and understanding of the heritage being experienced;
  • accomplish management objectives by encouraging thoughtful use of the resource by the visitor; and
  • promote public understanding of heritage management organisations and their programs.

To hear more about the value of interpretation – follow this link.


2018 IA Conference Sydney. Image by Kylie Christian.


Like to learn more?  Why not take a look at some of our Case Studies?

Face-to-Face – Phillip Island

The purpose of the Heritage Farm Ranger Talk is to educate Primary School students within the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) levels 1-4. We aim to enhance student knowledge about the rich history of the area including the Bunurong and early European settlers through engaging activities and tales of farming life in the 1800s.

Educational – Port Arthur

With a new National Curriculum being introduced incrementally across Australia from 2011 and in place Australia wide by 2013, and families visiting during school holiday times, the need to evolve the existing Education Program was essential for the PAHSMA in order for it to continue to deliver a best practice, relevant and engaging Education Program accessible to learners of all ages.

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Let the IA Conference begin!!! ... See MoreSee Less

16 hours ago

Let the IA Conference begin!!!

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Have a great time! Sorry we couldn’t make it this year 🍻

I see you Sarah, John, Scott, Paula! Have fun xx

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