Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (the Council) was created under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 to ensure that Aboriginal people throughout Victoria play a central role in the protection and management of their heritage.

The Council works with key partners to influence policy and build a better understanding and appreciation of Victoria's rich Aboriginal heritage.

The Council's vision is of a Victorian community that understands and respects Aboriginal cultural heritage and the cultural responsibilities of Traditional Owners.

The Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Act 2016 commenced operation on 1 August 2016. Read the special edition of the Council’s newsletter for more details about the way the Council’s functions and powers have been changed by the new legislation (PDF 270 KB) or (Word 240 KB).

Registered Aboriginal Parties

The Council Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) applications.

From 1 August 2016, Council has 270 days to make a decision on RAP applications. It also has the ability to place conditions on a RAP registration at any time.

From 1 August 2016, RAP applicants must be incorporated under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 and will need to address all the requirements set out in the new prescribed form.

Read the Council's General Principles for RAP decision making (Word 400 KB)and Council's Fact sheet on registration of multiple RAPs for a single area (Word 38 KB)

Council decisions made after 1 January 2008 regarding RAP applications are publicly available and can be accessed via the Council's news archive page. To date Council has registered 10 RAPs which together cover almost 60% of the state.

Other Council functions

More information about the Council

The Council is guided by its strategic plan 2014-2019 (Word 29 KB) or (PDF 9 MB). The plan was launched on 8 September 2014 and is Council's third strategic plan.

Visit the Council Publications and Fact Sheets page to view Council's strategic plans for 2008-2011 and 2011-2014.

The Council is comprised of up to eleven Traditional Owners appointed by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. All members are resident in Victoria, and have extensive knowledge and experience in cultural heritage management. Learn about the individual members by reading the Council member biographies (Word 885 KB).

Latest News

28 September - Council publishes its reasons for its decision to decline the RAP application from Bangerang Aboriginal Corporation (Word 117 KB)

7 September - Council elects Eleanor Bourke as its Chairperson and Tim Chatfield as its Deputy Chairperson.

6 July - Council publishes the Summary Report of its stakeholder meeting held on 1 April 2016 (PDF 364KB) or (Word 54KB) and encourages participants' feedback by Monday 12 September.

14 July - Council declines to register Bangerang Aboriginal Corporation as a RAP. Reasons for Council's decision will be available shortly.

8 June 2016 - Council meets with the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

Heritage Council Dinner Low Res JPEGs-51

Read about about past news from the Council or visit Council's Publications and Fact Sheets page which hosts Council's discussion papers, reports, fact sheets and submissions to legislative and policy reviews.

Applications currently before Council

Read about the applications currently before Council.

Applications declined or withdrawn

Read the applications to become a Registered Aboriginal Party that have been declined by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council or have been withdrawn.

Read declined or withdrawn applications

Contact the Council

You can contact the Council via the Council's Secretariat by:

Mail: GPO Box 2392 Melbourne, Victoria 3001
Tel: (03) 8392 5392
Fax: (03) 8392 5399


Last updated on Thursday, 01 December 2016