Kathy Dumbrell has been involved in the heritage field since 1996. After completing a Bachelor of Architectural Studies in 1995 at UCT and volunteering at the then Urban Conservation Unit of CoCT, she assisted on the Scenic Drive Study for the Cape Metropolitan Council before returning to UCT to complete an Honours in African Studies, drawing together research skills, with history, historical archaeology, history of planning and architectural theory coursework. Her Honours dissertation was on the wood and iron houses of Athlone.
In her 25 years of practice, Kathy Dumbrell has conducted HIAs of varying complexities, s34 applications and NID applications, as well as Appeals to both HWC and the MEC's Tribunal. She is experienced in facilitating applications and has a sound understanding of the NHRA and HWC process. She served on the Council of HWC from 2016-2022 and was Chair of its Appeals Committee from 2021-22. Her other work includes deeds and archival research, grading and auditing surveys and providing heritage advice in various contexts. Her research output has been in the form of articles, reports, presentations and teaching in the SAHRA heritage course offered at Rhodes University during 2012 and 2013.
Heritage has evolved from a cause, to a field of study and now an industry. Kathy Dumbrell continues to advocate for heritage as not just an industry, but still a cause and field of study. It is hoped that this will help keep our collective focus on the bigger picture: heritage, significance and meaning are integrally linked to the people, places, spaces and landscapes of South Africa. We are all its custodians, whether heritage consultants, officials or volunteers.
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