State government calls on Victorian Traditional Owners to join Aboriginal Heritage Council

April 28, 2024 BY

Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Natalie Hutchins. Photo: INSTAGRAM

THE state government is calling on Victorian Traditional Owners to join the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council, aiming to safeguard Aboriginal cultural heritage across the state.

Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Natalie Hutchins announced that applications are now open for four positions on the council.

“The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council plays a vital role in protecting the cultural heritage of the world’s

oldest continuous culture,” Ms Hutchins said.

“Through the Council, Victorian Traditional Owners are empowered to use their knowledge and experience to manage and protect cultural heritage delivering benefits to the entire Victorian community.”

The Council’s principal functions include advising the Minister on Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria, making decisions on applications from Traditional Owners to become Registered Aboriginal Parties, overseeing the reporting and return of Ancestral Remains and Secret or Sacred Objects, and promoting public awareness and understanding of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The eleven-person Council comprises Traditional Owners, ensuring that decisions about Aboriginal heritage are made by Aboriginal people, in line with the principle of self-determination.

Chair of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council Denise Lovett said it was important work.

“The Council’s work is central to the inherent rights of Victorian Traditional Owners to protect and make decisions about their own heritage, and I encourage all interested Victorian Traditional Owners to apply,” she said.

Victorian Traditional Owners who live in Victoria, who have extensive knowledge of Aboriginal cultural heritage, and who have time to commit to Council duties are encouraged to apply.

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