Daily Contacts

All members communicate daily through the Whatsapp Group of Pan-Sumatra Network. This is a lively communication traffic to share new development, events, publications, ideas, and most importantly, challenges that the members face in promoting cultural heritage in their areas

Monthly Discussions

Since June 2020, Pansumnet organizes monthly discussions with topics about cultural heritage of Sumatra. Most speakers are the members and invited experts

Gatherings and Trainings

Besides the regular activities, Pansumnet organizes regional gatherings and trainings to maintain contacts and to improve capacities of cultural heritage professionals in Sumatra. 

Usually these events are also attended by individuals and organizations from other areas in Indonesia and from neighborhood countries in Southeast Asia like Malaysia and Singapore. 

Since its establishment, Pansumnet Gatherings and Trainings were held in:

  • 2000, Medan, North Sumatra
  • 2001, Bangka, South Sumatra
  • 2002, Padang, West Sumatra
  • 2004, Bengkulu, Central Sumatra
  • 2004-2006, a two years capacity building training in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra and in Bangka, South Sumatra
  • 2015, Sawahlunto, West Sumatra
  • 2018, Muntok, South Sumatra

Unfortunately Pansumnet didn’t have a regional meeting since 2006 due to various reasons but one main reason is since 2004 many areas in Sumatra experienced natural disasters continuously; started with tsunami in Aceh and Nias in 2004, Semangko West Sumatra in 2007, Padang West Sumatra in 2009 and earthquake and tsunami Mentawai West Sumatra in 2010. We lost a colleague from Aceh during the tsunami and many colleagues were occupied with post-emergency actions. Pansumnet members individually had regular contacts and supported each other during these difficult periods. 

Pansumnet Gatherings was revived in 2015. The main reasons were calming down of the natural disasters in the regions and the number of heritage stakeholders in Sumatra that grows substantially.  Originally, most of the members were non-government organizations and universities, but later many government agencies have heritage programs. 

Most of key members of Pansumnet play important role in this development by assisting government agencies in producing appropriate policies and implementation. It was time to consolidate all stakeholders including the new ones. 

The Pansumnet 2015 Gathering was a start for an expansion of the Pansumnet to a wider type of stakeholders.

Despite limitations and challenges, Pansumnet members were able to organize regular gatherings and trainings. All events were always funded partly by its members by mobilizing local resources. Local hosts managed to arrange financial and in-kind contribution for accommodation, meals, excursions and most logistic needs. Sometimes the gatherings were humble only for members and sometimes the gatherings were expanded with some extra programs.


The regional gatherings and trainings play important roles in keeping heritage movements alive especially in the region and in Indonesia generally. They function as well as means to attract local young professionals to get involve and improve knowledge and capacity in dealing with challenges to save local heritage. 

Several examples of achievements from these gatherings and trainings are:

  • In Banda Aceh, 600 heritage themed monopoly games have been produced and being distributed to 500 schools in and among 100 post tsunami relief donor agencies.
  • In Bengkulu the group completed 20 new explanatory panels for Fort Marlborough and secured funding from the government to have them framed. The launching of the new panels were used as a momentum to officially open the fort as a museum.
  • The group from Padang prepared a revitalization plan for Los Saudagar, a row of shop-houses in the center of Bukittingi. The plan was backed by all parties involved has officially been adopted in the government plans. The group also managed to reinstate a shop owners association that assisted in fundraising activities for the renovation works.
  • The Palembang group has managed to become involved as consultants on the redevelopment of 16 ILIR historic district.
  • In Bangka, the group secured funding for the restoration of a heritage house in Kampong Gedong. Media coverage also motivated the local community to improve some of the streets in Kampung Gedong.
  • in Medan, Sumatra Heritage Trust (SHT) was under guidance of experts from Urban Solutions (economics) and the University of Tokyo (architectural design) prepared detailed design & feasibility studies for three heritage buildings in Medan that are under threat of demolition. The studies were subsequently presented to owners and developers of the buildings. The owner of the Deli Maatschappij building was impressed and commissioned SHT to develop a full-fledged plan incorporating the original building and highlighting its historical values instead of demolishing it.
  • International recognition 2003 UNESCO Asia Pacific Award for Merit related to restoration of the historical bridge Tjong Hyong Hian in Medan by Sumatra Heritage Trust.
  • International recognition in 2012 from World Monuments Watch Award for saving Batak vernacular architecture in Lingga Village, North Sumatra by Sumatra Heritage Trust. 
  • Recognition of the Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage Site, Sawahlunto, in the World Heritage Site List of UNESCO in 2019. The Municipality of Sawahlunto has been very active in conservation efforts in Indonesia generally and becomes an exemplary case study for other heritage practitioners. Pansumnet has gathered in Sawahlunto in 2015 to support and to learn from each other’s. 
  • Actively involved in disseminating the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach that was introduced by UNESCO since 2011 by organizing a workshop and seminar in Muntok, Southern of Sumatra. These programs involved several universities, government and non-government institutions, and supported by international stakeholders WHITRAP (World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region), and RCE (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands). The results of these programs are a report titled ‘New Horizon for an Old Tin Mining Town’ published in 2019 and a handbook for universities titled ‘HUL Quick Scan Method Handbook for Indonesian University Lecturers’ published in 2021. 
  • Revitalization and renovation of historic buildings and infrastructures all over Sumatra. Some of the distinguished examples are:
    • Renovation of House of Lay, a Chinese Mansion in Pangkal Pinang by the member of Pansumnet, Hongky Listiyadi. He is an architect and owner of the property who initiated the renovation.
    • Renovation of Tjong A Fie Mansion in Medan by the owner and open the historical house as museum.
    • Renovation of the City Hall of Medan by Sumatra Heritage Trust in cooperation with public and private stakeholders.
    • Establishment of Tjong Yong Hian Museum in Medan by the owner after the restoration of the historical bridge with the same name by Sumatra Heritage Trust.
    • Establishment of several museums related to industrial heritage of Sumatra, for example Museum Timah Indonesia (Indonesian Tin Museum) in Muntok, and Museum Perkebunan Indonesia (Indonesian Plantation Museum) in two historical buildings Medan.