James Lesh is an urban historian specialising in heritage conservation: please get in touch.
He is particularly interested in the capacity for history and heritage to facilitate placemaking, participation, sustainability and design.
As a historian and geographer, James adopts innovative methodologies and evidence-based approaches: for both conventional (historic and aesthetic) and evolving (social and sustainability) heritage values.
He advocates for a dynamic mode of heritage conservation that addresses the present and future challenges of our cities and societies.
Visit his blog heritage.city. His writing on heritage topics has appeared in leading academic refereed journals.
James also contributes to wider discussions and has provided commentary to ABC Radio National, ABC Radio Melbourne, The Age, Herald Sun, 3AW Radio, The Conversation, Foreground, ArchitectureAU and other outlets.
University of Melbourne (2020–present, 2014–19)
University of Sydney (2019–2020)
King’s College London (2016–2021)
James has coordinated and lectured postgraduate and undergraduate subjects in urban and cultural heritage and urban history at the University of Melbourne and University of Sydney. He currently teaches Principles of Heritage and Conservation, a core subject in the Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage at the University of Melbourne, and Heritage Law and Policy, a core subject in the Master of Heritage Conservation at the University of Sydney.
Association of Critical Heritage Studies
Australian Historical Association
Citizens for Melbourne: Co-Founder and Vice-President
Commonwealth Heritage Forum: Australian Representative
ICOMOS: Full International Member, Australian chapter
National Trust of Australia (Victoria): Heritage Advocacy Committee
Professional Historians Association: Professional Historian
Major prizes and awards
Citizens for Melbourne: Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media (Advocacy Award), Victorian Chapter, Australian Institute of Architects, 2020.
Australian Postgraduate Award, University of Melbourne.
Australian Bicentennial Scholarship, King’s College London.
Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Queen Mary University of London.
AGL Shaw Summer Research Fellowship, State Library of Victoria.
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne
Master of Arts, University of London
Bachelor of Arts with Honours, University of Melbourne
Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne
Last updated: November 2022.