Culture and heritage

Aboriginal heritage

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC) was established under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 to advise the Minister for the Environment and the Chief Executive of the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) on any matter relating to identification, assessment and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW.

This includes providing strategic advice on Plans of Management, heritage impact permit processes, matters referred to the Committee by the Minister or the Chief-Executive. The Committee was established in 2006.  

Role of the Committee

ACHAC provides advice on high level Aboriginal cultural heritage issues, including management policies; identification, assessment and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage; and legislative reform.

 

Committee priority actions

The Committee has selected the following important goals and tasks from a broad range of issues in order to give them their full attention:

  • Monitoring and reviewing the implementation of amendments to the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 as it relates to Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • Broad review of legislation for the protection and conservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW
  • Development of NSW government and OEH initiatives and priorities that relate to the management and protection of Aboriginal culture and heritage

Committee vision

That Aboriginal peoples Country, culture, physical and spiritual connection to their land and waters is recognised, cared for and respected by all people, today and into the future.

Committee targets

  • To increase participation of Aboriginal people in the identification and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage, biodiversity and biological resources and spiritual values in relation to land and water.
  • To increase participation of Aboriginal people in management and protection of Country cultural heritage, including joint management of national parks and protection of Aboriginal biodiversity and biological resources and spiritual values in relation to land and water.To develop policies to support Aboriginal land owners and land managers to manage their lands for socio-economic, cultural and environmental outcomes.

Committee membership

The Committee consists of 13 members appointed by the Minister for the Environment, and one ex-officio member from OEH. The ex-officio member is a non-voting member of the Committee.

Committee members have vast and diverse knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture and heritage, knowledge which is unique because it comes from their own experiences of working on Country in their local communities. Membership reflects the diversity of the Aboriginal population of NSW and achieves a gender balance.  Membership includes:

 

  • Nominee of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)
  • Nominee of the Heritage Council of NSW
  • Nominee of NTSCORP Limited
  • Members of Local Aboriginal Land Councils
  • Nominees of Aboriginal Elders Groups
  • Aboriginal owners listed on the register under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983
  • Registered Native Title Claimants.

Committee members

Current Committee members are:

  • Ms Glenda Chalker
  • Mr Robin Heath
  • Ms Sharon Hodgetts
  • Mr Victor Perry
  • Ms Queenie Speeding
  • Ms Iris White
  • Mr James Williams
  • Mr Ian Woods
  • Dr Raymond Kelly (nominee of Heritage Council of NSW)
  • Ms Natalie Rotumah (nominee of NTSCORP)
  • Mr Peter Smith (nominee of NSWALC)
  • Ms Maureen O'Donnell - Alternate member, filling in for current vacancy representing far west NSW
  • Ms Pauline McKenzie (delegate of the Chief Executive of Office of Environment and Heritage)

How often does the Committee meet?

The Committee meets at least three times per year.

The Committee may, by resolution, hold one regional meeting per year. Ordinary meetings are otherwise held in the Sydney metropolitan region.

Who administers the Committee?

The Heritage Division provides secretariat services, strategic and logistical support to the Committee.

On behalf of the Chief Executive of the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), the Director, Heritage Division will attend Committee meetings in a non-voting advisory and support capacity.

For further information and advice about the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee please contact the Committee Secretariat.

Page last updated: 24 October 2016