Throughout Victoria, even in the most intensively developed regions, the landscape holds the imprint of thousands of generations of Aboriginal people.
Aboriginal people have lived in southern Australia, including what is now Victoria, for thousands of years. During that time, the people living in these regions left physical evidence of their activities that now survive as cultural heritage places and objects. Underpinning these material aspects of Aboriginal cultural heritage are intangible places where there may be no physical evidence of past cultural activities. These include places of spiritual or ceremonial significance, places where traditional plant or mineral resources occur, or trade and travel routes. Aboriginal places and objects can be found all over Victoria, on both public and private land.
Aboriginal Victoria (AV) works in partnership with landowners, land managers and Aboriginal communities to record, protect and manage these places and objects.
Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 provides protection for all Aboriginal places, objects and human remains in Victoria, regardless of their inclusion in the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register or land tenure. The Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Act 2016 has made changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
The Act provides a consistent approach to protecting and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage, as well as clear guidance to planners and developers about when and how Aboriginal cultural heritage management issues need to be considered.
For more specific information on the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and to access tools to assist in the planning and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage please visit the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation website.
Registered Aboriginal Parties
Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) are organisations that hold decision-making responsibilities under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 for protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage in a specified geographical area.
At a local level RAPs are the voice of Aboriginal people in the management and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria. RAPs provide a wide range of services to the wider community.
The role, details and location of each RAP can be located on the Aboriginal Heritage Council website.
Page last updated: 13/07/21