As one of the oldest living peoples on Earth, the culture of Aboriginal Australians is rich, complex and enduring. The wellbeing of Aboriginal people is connected to the land. 

The Heritage team works with Aboriginal people to promote their culture and to protect and manage places and objects of significance to Aboriginal heritage. 

The Heritage directorate is responsible for: 

Protecting Aboriginal heritage

Under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AHA), the Department works with Aboriginal people to protect and manage places of significance. The Department also provides advice to the public and private sectors and the community about Aboriginal heritage management and maintains a Register of Aboriginal Sites. The Department also administers a grants program that provides funding for Aboriginal communities to protect and promote their heritage sites. 

Assisting with compliance with the AHA

The Department works with developers and land users to raise awareness of Aboriginal heritage and to ensure that Aboriginal heritage and engagement with Aboriginal people is built into development planning processes. In situations where impact to a site cannot be avoided, DPLH processes lodged section 18 notices that seek approval from the Minister.

Providing access to heritage information

Access to information that the Department holds in relation to registered Aboriginal Sites and other heritage places is made available via the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System (AHIS) which is an internet based search tool. The Department is also able to arrange access to electronically view the contents of specific heritage files and reports upon request so long as these do not contain confidential information, or in cases where they do, appropriate permissions have been sought. 

Below: Oyster Harbour Fishtraps