Profile image of James Lesh

Dr James Lesh



Senior Lecturer, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Hum & Social Science


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Dr James Lesh is a historian and Lecturer in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies. His research explores the theory and practice of heritage conservation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has also published widely in Australian urban history. Before joining Deakin University, he had previous appointments at the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, and King's College London.

James' recent book Values in Cities: Urban Heritage in Twentieth-Century Australia synthesises the history of the Australian heritage movement and the emergence of a professional field and academic discipline for urban and cultural heritage. He also co-edited the book collection People-Centred Methodologies for Heritage Conservation: Exploring Emotional Attachments to Historic Urban Places. His research appears in leading academic journals and book collections. He is a regular contributor to public and industry debates on heritage conservation.

Read more on James's profile

Units taught

  • AIM703 – Heritage Practice: Conservation and Managing Change
  • AIM705 – Heritage Practice: Fundamentals
  • AIM719 – Cultural Heritage And Museum Practice

Professional activities

  • Advocacy Advisory Committee, National Trust of Australia (Victoria)
  • Australian Representative, Commonwealth Heritage Forum
  • Co-Founder, Citizens for Melbourne
  • Provenance (Public Record Office of Victoria Journal): Editorial Board


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Values in Cities: Urban Heritage in Twentieth-Century Australia

James Lesh

(2023), London, Eng., A1


'Beyond repair': modernism, renewal and the conservation of Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market, 1967-76

J Lesh, K Myers

(2022), Vol. 37, pp. 217-242, Planning Perspectives, London, England, C1

journal article

Report on the place name: Moreland

James Lesh

(2022), Melbourne, Vic., A6

research report/technical paper

Exploring emotional attachments to historic places: Bridging concept, practice and method

Rebecca Madgin, James Lesh

(2021), pp. 1-15, People-centred methodologies for heritage conservation : exploring emotional attachments to historic urban places, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

Melbourne's Federation Square and its Heritage Discontents, 1994-2002

James Lesh

(2021), Vol. 31, pp. 109-138, Fabrications, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the Limits of Values-Based Conservation

K Myers, J Lesh

(2021), Vol. 14, pp. 267-284, Heritage and Society, London, Eng., C1

journal article

People-Centred Methodologies for Heritage Conservation Exploring Emotional Attachments to Historic Urban Places

Rebecca Madgin, James Lesh

(2021), London, Eng., A7

edited book

Heritage Cities

James Lesh, Cameron Logan

(2020), pp. 87-101, Understanding Urbanism, Berlin, Germany, B1

book chapter

Place and heritage conservation

James Lesh

(2020), pp. 431-441, The Routledge handbook of place, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

Richmond and 18 Berry Street Revisited

James Lesh, David Nichols

(2020), pp. 157-173, Urban Australia and post-punk : exploring dogs in space, Singapore, B1

book chapter

From Modern to Postmodern Skyscraper Urbanism and the Rise of Historic Preservation in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, 1969-1988

J Lesh

(2019), Vol. 45, pp. 126-149, Journal of Urban History, London, England, C1

journal article

The National Estate (and the city), 1969-75: a significant Australian heritage phenomenon

J Lesh

(2019), Vol. 25, pp. 113-127, International Journal of Heritage Studies, London, England, C1

journal article

Social value and the conservation of urban heritage places in Australia

James Lesh

(2019), Vol. 31, pp. 42-62, Historic Environment, Carlton, Vic., C1

journal article

Cremorne Gardens, Gold-rush Melbourne, and the Victorian-era Pleasure Garden, 1853-63

James Lesh

(2019), Vol. 90, pp. 219-252, Victorian Historical Journal, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

TWENTIETH-CENTURY JEWISH LGBTQ LONDON and the Rainbow Jews Heritage Project

James Lesh


journal article

The Ruins Caused a Catch in the Throat as Memories Came Flooding In': Melbourne's Bread and Cheese Club and Postwar Literary Urban Conservationism

James Lesh, David Nichols

(2018), pp. 266-274, APO 2018: Proceedings of the Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference, Melbourne, Vic., E1


Lost [in] Arcadia: Regenerating Melbourne's nineteenth-century shopping arcades since the 1950s

James Lesh, Nicole Davis

(2018), pp. 108-117, APO 2018: Proceedings of the Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference, Melbourne, Vic, E1


"A Regional Conservation Manifesto", The Burra Charter and the Australian Re-invention of Urban Heritage Management, ca. 1975-1985

James Lesh

(2017), Vol. 12, pp. 120-133, International Journal of Regional and Local History, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Why not call ourselves Mutilated Melbourne?' A history of urban heritage at the Rialto Towers

James Lesh

(2016), Vol. 28, pp. 22-35, Historic Environment, Carlton, Vic., C1

journal article

Locating the national in the urban: heritage and scale in the twentieth-century Australian City

James Lesh

(2016), pp. 239-249, Proceedings of the 13th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference, Gold Coast, Qld., E1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Melbourne's Legacies of Slavery and Place Name ''Moreland''

Dr James Lesh

Moreland City Council

  • 2022: $10,000


No completed student supervisions to report