Culture and heritage

Aboriginal cultural heritage

Declaration of Aboriginal Places in NSW

Places with Aboriginal cultural heritage values can be protected through declaration as an Aboriginal Place or through listing on the State Heritage Register.

Nominating an Aboriginal Place

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) accepts proposed nominations for Aboriginal Places supported by the local Aboriginal community, as Aboriginal people are the main determinants of Aboriginal cultural significance. OEH will support the Aboriginal community in considering:

  • their aspirations for a site
  • available protection mechanisms for a site
  • the risks to and ways of enhancing a site's cultural values
  • longer-term site management issues
  • and site significance.

If you want to suggest an area that could be declared an Aboriginal Place, please complete and submit the Aboriginal Place nomination form (DOC 37KB).

Note: When an Aboriginal Place assessment and a declaration is selected by the Aboriginal community or applicant as a preferred conservation outcome, OEH sets out a clear assessment process. At this point, a management plan (PDF 1MB) should be prepared.

State Heritage Register

The State Heritage Register is a list of places and objects of particular importance to the people of NSW. The register lists a diverse range of over 1650 items, in both private and public ownership. To be listed, an item must be significant for the whole of NSW.

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Aboriginal Places

Aboriginal places protect areas of land that have recognised values of significance to Aboriginal people. A place can have spiritual, natural resource usage, historical, social, educational or other type of significance. Search for detailed information including maps, photos, location information, gazettal notices, and an explanation of the significance for each of the declared Aboriginal Place.

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Management Plan

When proposing a declaration of an Aboriginal Place, a formal management plan by the landowner/land manager or occupiers with agreement with the Aboriginal community should be prepared.

For assistance in preparation management plan for proposed declaration of an Aboriginal Place, review the Guidelines for Developing Management Plans for Declared Aboriginal Places (PDF 1MB).

A plan of management would include:

  1. A statement of cultural values of the Aboriginal place, including whether it is a men's or women's site.
  2. Threats to the place, an assessment of risk of harm and ways in which significant threats will be treated.
  3. Other uses of the area including recreational and economic.
  4. Appropriate fire regimes.
  5. Activities that may require Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permits issued under Part 6 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, and maps of where these activities are authorised under a permit.
  6. The treatment of culturally sensitive information in accordance with a section 161 notice.
  7. Ongoing management actions, who is responsible for doing them, and what consultation is needed.
  8. A process for periodic monitoring and recording of Aboriginal place site conditions.
  9. Funding and resources.

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Page last updated: 07 February 2018