Reflections on place identity and change in the twin historic coastal towns of Queenscliff and Sorrento
de Jong, U and Fuller, R and Beynon, D, Reflections on place identity and change in the twin historic coastal towns of Queenscliff and Sorrento, Historic Environment, 29, (2) pp. 70-87. ISSN 0726-6715 (2017) [Refereed Article]
An ARC-funded research project, 'Sea change communities: intergenerational perception and sense of place', has investigated the qualitative and quantitative impacts of the 'sea change' phenomenon on the physical, social and cultural fabric of the historic Victorian coastal towns of Sorrento and Queenscliff. As part of the research methodology, crossgenerational focus groups ranging from primary school-aged children through to octogenarians were undertaken, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-two community members from the two towns. These included local residents and business people, council planners and former councillors. These focus groups and interviews were based on six themes: sense of place, neighbourhood character, planning, community, future vision, and belonging and attachment. This paper highlights the relationships between people, community and place revealed through the stories, memories, connections and reflections described as a part of these focus groups and interviews. The focus groups and interviews draw attention to crossgenerational viewpoints and perspectives on the impact of ongoing physical, social and cultural changes in Sorrento and Queenscliff, especially in relation to perceptions of threat towards 'sense of place' and neighbourhood character in each town. Beyond the immediate discussion of these viewpoints, this paper analyses their implications for coastal and historic environments undergoing similar changes.