Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee advises the Minister on matters relating to Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW.

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC) was established in 2006 under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. The Committee advises the Minister and the Chief Executive of the Department of Premier of Cabinet on matters 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 and matters referred to the Committee by the Minister or the Chief Executive.

Nominations for membership of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee

The NSW Government is inviting nominations for membership of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC).

There are 4 positions that are required to be filled during this process.

Your nomination must demonstrate:

  • your involvement in cultural heritage matters in your local community and
  • your understanding of cultural heritage management issues.

Your written consent to the nomination is required for your nomination to be accepted.

Please obtain an information kit to apply.

For further enquiries please contact:

(02) 9873 8500
1300 361 967 (local call cost)

Email enquiries: ACHAC.Nominations@environment.nsw.gov.au

The closing date for receipt of applications is 25 October 2019. 

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

Read the Terms of Reference for more information.

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.

To increase participation of Aboriginal people in the identification and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage, biodiversity 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.

ACHAC consists of 13 members appointed by the Minister, and one ex-officio member from the Department of Premier and Cabinet. 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. This knowledge 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:

  • a nominee of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)
  • a nominee of the Heritage Council of NSW
  • a nominee of the Native Title Services Corporation
  • 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.

Mrs Glenda Chalker (Chair)

Glenda Chalker Glenda is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(ii) and (iii) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Glenda is one of the original members appointed to ACHAC when it was established in 2006.

Glenda is a Dharawal woman of the Cubbitch Barta Clan and a descendant of the survivors of the 1816 massacre who moved to John Macarthur’s property at Camden. Glenda is passionate about cultural heritage and works on heritage matters every day. She is party to a registered Indigenous Land Use Agreement and is part of the Cubbitch Barta Native Title Claimant process.

Glenda is a member of the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council and has served as Treasurer, Chairperson and is currently Deputy Chairperson. Glenda is also a member of the National Parks and Wildlife Sydney Metropolitan South Regional Advisory Committee, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Advisory Committee and Aboriginal Advisory Group and is the Chairperson of the Cubbitch Barta Native Title Claimants Aboriginal Organisation.

Glenda’s roles on these committees, participation in Aboriginal archaeological fieldwork and her status in her community, means she understands the stories and material culture of the Dharawal area. She knows the importance of heritage to Aboriginal people and future generations, the potential impacts – including the threats to cultural heritage conservation faced by the increasing residential development.

Glenda’s goal is to see stand-alone Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation developed that includes improved processes for speaking for Country and protecting Aboriginal heritage.

Mr Ian Woods (Deputy Chair)

Ian WoodsIan is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(i) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Ian has also been a member of ACHAC since 2009.

Ian is a Wiradjuri man from Hay where he has been the CEO of the Hay Local Aboriginal Land Council for over 25 years. He is also the founding Chair of the Nari Nari Tribal Council, a member of the Nimmie Caira Advisory Committee, Murray Lower Darling Indigenous Nations Group, Mawambul Co-Management Group and participates in the annual Indigenous Areas Managers meeting.

Ian has worked in many heritage roles including site identification and protection projects, arranging Aboriginal cultural heritage celebrations, consulting with local councils, National Parks and Wildlife, landowners, government agencies and developers.

Ian is passionate about Aboriginal cultural heritage and is proactively involved in overseeing developments and tracking compliance issues where sites are being destroyed. The level of impact and destruction to Aboriginal sites was one of the reasons why Ian first applied to be a member of ACHAC. This is Ian’s second term on ACHAC and his goal is to see Aboriginal people making decisions about the law and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage, to ensure people are reconnecting and identifying with country, language and their culture.

Mr Robin Heath

Robin Heath

Robin is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2d(i) and (iii) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Robin has also been a member of ACHAC since it was established in 2006.

Robin is from Gummbaynggirr Country and has been involved in the Dorrigo Local Aboriginal Land Council for the past 20 years.

As the CEO of Dorrigo Land Council, Robin and his community have successfully claimed land under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983. He is also a member of the North Coast National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Committee–National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council Member-NSW Council of Social Service Board Member – North Coast Local Land Services Member Local Decision Making for the Northern Region and the Gummbaynggirr Mens Elders group for Dorrigo.

Robin’s work at the Dorrigo Local Aboriginal Land Council marks some of his key achievements where Aboriginal cultural heritage values were identified, when they had been missed previously within development areas. The identification of the Aboriginal heritage allowed for protection outcomes for heritage and the creation of site officer positions to ensure the continued identification and protection of Aboriginal culture and heritage. Robin reflected, “protecting Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and representing our peoples spiritual values and our connection to Land and Water it is so important as it is part of our creation stories and who we are”.

Ms Sharon Hodgetts

Sharon HodgettsSharon is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(iii)of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Sharon is a Wiradjuri- Wangaaypuwan woman, born at Gilgandra and raised on farming country at Gulgong with family connections to the Dubbo, Wellington and Nyngan area. Sharon is also heavily involved in the Central Coast and Hunter regions’ Aboriginal community where she has lived for over 35 years. Sharon is a member of Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and was their Senior Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Officer before moving to Forestry Corporation of NSW as the Aboriginal Partnerships Liaison for the Hunter-Central Coast. Sharon has many years training and working in Aboriginal Archaeology and is a current student at the University of New England Armidale. Sharon is also a member of the Australian Archaeological Association, Australian Indigenous Archaeologists Association, National Parks and Wildlife Service- Hunter Central Coast Regional Advisory Committee, the Australian Rock Art Research Association and has been invited onto the ICOMOS National Scientific Committee on Rock Art Australia and Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) Indigenous Liaison Officer.

Sharon is passionate about Aboriginal heritage and culture. She ensures there are opportunities to practice culture, teaching and sharing widely particularly with her children and grandchildren. Through her roles and memberships, she is well respected for her knowledge of stories, material culture and the impacts and threats to Aboriginal cultural heritage currently posed through mining and other development.

Ms Queenie Speeding

Queenie SpeedingQueenie is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2 (d)(ii) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

She is a Githabal woman from the North Coast region of NSW. Queenie is part of the Widjabul-Wia-bal Native Title claim group and a member of the Ngulingah Local Aboriginal Land Council Board of Directors in her local area.

Through her role on these committees and status in her community, Queenie understands the importance of leadership and being active in her community to preserve cultural heritage, stories, language and other expressions from further loss.

The importance to Aboriginal people and the potential impacts and threats to cultural heritage conservation currently faced through increasing social change, residential development and climate change are very real to Queenie and her community.

As a member of ACHAC, Queenie would like to see ways of achieving good Aboriginal heritage outcomes being promoted without reducing or detracting from the significance or integrity of heritage places and communities.

Mrs Iris White

Iris is from the Far South Coast of NSW with traditional connections to the Walbanga and Djirinjarn people and is a Registered Aboriginal Owner of Gulaga and Biamanga National Parks.

She also has traditional ties to the Monero-Ngarigo people of the Snowy Mountains and the Monero Plains. Iris has extensive governance experience and has represented community interests at a local, state and national level.

Iris is currently Chairperson of the Southern Kosciusko National Park Aboriginal Advisory Committee, a Member of the Snowy Advisory Council and former Chairperson of Gulaga National Park Board of Management.

She is also a former Member of the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and the Regional Communities Counsultative Council and was a founding Member and a previous Chairperson of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT Pty Ltd.

Through these roles, as well as her active participation in community organisations, Iris has been involved in negotiations for handback and Joint Management of Culturally significant landmarks. She is passionate about improving the integrity of information and processes for protecting Aboriginal culture and a strong advocate for truth-talking in regard to Right People, Right Country.

Mr James Williams

James WilliamsJames is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(i) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

James is a Wiradjuri man from Orange. He is a member of the Gunni Thakun Cultural Association, National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Committee – Western Rivers Region, Orange and Bathurst Local Land Council and Wiradjuri Elders Group. James currently works in providing family and community services in his local area.

Through his roles and work across different committees and status in his community, James has an acute understanding of social issues for Aboriginal families and young people. James understands the effects of dislocation and destruction of cultural heritage and is aware of the need and importance of stories, language, songs and material culture of the area for Aboriginal people to strengthen their identity and culture.

James would like to see as part of his role on ACHAC more holistic ways for Aboriginal cultural heritage to be recognised and protected.

Dr Raymond Kelly

Raymond KellyRay is a member of ACHAC, nominated by the Heritage Council of New South Wales, and appointed under Section 2(b) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Ray is a Dunghutti man from the mid north coast of NSW. He was awarded a doctorate from the University of Newcastle for his study of Aboriginal languages. He is a member of the Heritage Council of New South Wales and has been involved in Aboriginal community development and cultural heritage for over thirty years.

Through his career, research and status in his community, Ray has a deep understanding of stories, language, songs and their importance, along with other expressions of Aboriginal culture to Aboriginal people. Dr Kelly reflected “it is heritage, then culture, not the other way around. Heritage comes before culture. I’m here to continue the conversation and try to sort out how to, where to and why”.

 

Mr Peter Smith

Peter SmithPeter is a member of ACHAC, nominated by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, and is appointed under Section 2(a) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Peter is a Dunghutti man originally from Kempsey and sits on the board of Dunghutti Elders. He also has Gumbaynggirr and Wiradjuri connections through both of his grandmothers.

Peter is a member and former Chair of the Purfleet-Taree Local Aboriginal Land Council. He has worked in the Taree region of NSW for over three decades in Aboriginal affairs, policing and regional health services.

Through his roles and status in his community, Peter knows and understands the stories, songs and material culture of his country, its connections with other areas and the importance of these attributes to Aboriginal peoples’ identity. He is passionate about the protection of Aboriginal heritage for present and future generations.

Through his work and connections, Peter is striving to change the mindset of people to work together “to protect our mob.”

Ms Natalie Rotumah

Natalie RotumahNatalie is a member of ACHAC, nominated by the Native Title Services Corporation Limited (NTSCORP), and appointed under Section 2(c) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Natalie is a Bundjalung woman originally from South Tweed Heads and has worked for NTSCorp since 2002. Prior to that, Natalie served as a NSW Aboriginal Land Council Regional Chair and representative on the NSW Natural Resources Advisory Committee and is currently Deputy Chair of the NSW Aboriginal Fishing Advisory Council.

Through her career, and as a leader in committees across NSW, Natalie has a broad appreciation of Aboriginal cultural issues across the state and promotes the integral link between the environment and culture for Aboriginal people

 

Ms Leeanne Hampton

Leeanne HamptonLeeanne is a member of ACHAC, nominated by an Aboriginal Elders Group, and is appointed under Section 2(d)(i) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Leeanne is a Wiradjuri woman in West Wyalong with family connections to the Ngiyampaa people from Cobar and surrounds. Leeanne is a member and CEO of the West Wyalong Local Aboriginal Land Council and a member of the Winangkirri Aboriginal Corporation.

Through Leeanne’s role as CEO she has represented the Wiradjuri region several times in discussions and recommendations for amendments to state legislation regarding Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW. Leanne has also been involved in major natural resource management projects for her local area. She understands and has seen the results of socio-economic impacts to natural resource management and Aboriginal cultural heritage in her role as CEO. Leanne has in recent times taken the initiative to address these through better engagement with the Aboriginal community and working with those attempting to impact Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Ms Helen Riley

Helen RileyHelen is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(ii) and (iii) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Helen is a Wiradjuri woman of the Wiradjuri clan. Her family has been involved with local community since the early 1920s. She is passionate about cultural heritage and works on heritage matters every day.

Helen is a founder of the Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation where she currently serves as Treasurer among other distinctive roles within the corporation. She is a volunteer of the National Parks rock art programs and is a member in the Aboriginal Wiradjuri Council of Elders. Helen sits on the committee of the Nepean working party which covers Aboriginal health.

Her roles on these committees, and participation in Aboriginal culture and fieldwork, along with her status in the community, indicates she understands the stories and material culture of Wiradjuri country. She knows and understands the importance of heritage to Aboriginal people, their future generations, and the potential impacts.

Helen’s goal is to see Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation developed that included improved processes of speaking for Country and protecting Aboriginal heritage and culture through the land and the people.

ACHAC 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.

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

On behalf of the Chief Executive of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, 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.