Rock art, Mutawintji NP. P Laughton/DECCW

What is culture?

Cultures change and evolve just as animals and plants do - culture is a living thing.

Culture and heritage

Culture is a way of understanding and living in the world. Heritage is the environment, objects and places that we inherit from the past and pass on to future generations to use, learn from and be inspired by. Together these frame our understanding of the past and influence the decisions we make about what is worth keeping. The Office of Environment and Heritage, in partnership with our government agencies and Aboriginal people, has a role in protecting and promoting Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal culture and heritage environments of NSW.

Cultures and heritage of NSW

Welcome to Country, Waratah festival. BGT/SCottrel

Explore the cultures and heritage of the peoples and environments of NSW

Aboriginal heritage law reform

Reforming laws to protect Aboriginal culture and heritage in NSW

State heritage

Information about heritage sites, conservation, events and the NSW Heritage Council


Stone tools. N Pulver/DECCW

OEH's research into NSW culture and heritage


Rock art, Mutawintji. P Laughton/DECCW

How OEH is protecting Aboriginal objects and places


Restoration work at Gowrie Hut. S Garland/DECCW

Fostering attachment and conserving heritage places in national parks

Heritage registers

Axe grinding marks in rock. N Pulver/DECCW

Permits and registers relating to Aboriginal and historic heritage

Working with Aboriginal people

Split rock art, Mutwintji. A Bryce/DECCW

OEH's Aboriginal People, the Environment and Conservation Principles


Cape Byron lighthouse. J Winter/DECCW

Culture and heritage books, reports, conservation plans and policies

Feature item

Current status of the Aboriginal cultural heritage

Following the Government's commitment to reviewing the reform of Aboriginal cultural heritage (ACH) legislation, the Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Reform Working Party (Working Party) provided a discussion paper with 23 draft recommendations for the Government to consider. The Government considered the recommendations and developed a proposed model for reforming the Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation in NSW. The proposed Government model will form the basis of this round of public consultation sessions.  Find out more

Page last updated: 23 November 2015