Search the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS) which holds over 100,000 records and information about Aboriginal Places, objects and other significant sites.
AHIMS has been upgraded to enable the instant delivery of site cards and reports, and automated payments. This upgrade went live in late 2023. Manual invoicing will be discontinued after this date. This upgrade does not change the way Aboriginal cultural heritage information is accessed and managed in AHIMS.
Do you have questions about changes to AHIMS?
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Refer to the frequently asked questions below for how to search and request information from AHIMS about:
Aboriginal Places declared by the Minister for Environment and Heritage that have special significance to Aboriginal people
other significant Aboriginal sites and objects.
All of these are collectively referred to as Aboriginal ‘sites’ in the database.
AHIMS offers services including:
requesting copies of archaeological reports and site cards
requesting sensitive information under an Aboriginal heritage information licence agreement.
Search Aboriginal sites for due diligence
Before carrying out any on-ground work or activity, thought must be given to how it might affect Aboriginal sites. For some activities, the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 requires the exercise of due diligence to see if Aboriginal sites might be harmed by activities. Checking the AHIMS is part of this due diligence.
A basic search will assess if any relevant items have been recorded in the search area. These could be:
Aboriginal objects (as defined under the National Parks and Wildlife Act)
a declared Aboriginal Place (as defined under the National Parks and Wildlife Act) that may or may not contain Aboriginal objects
a group of Aboriginal objects (such as a collection, scattering or deposit)
an area of land containing Aboriginal objects
a potential archaeological deposit (an area where previous investigation shows that Aboriginal objects are likely to be present)
an Aboriginal site that has been partially or fully destroyed under the conditions of a past consent.
If the results of your basic search show there are no Aboriginal sites in the area of proposed activity, consider whether Aboriginal objects are likely to be in the area by looking at the landscape features and by doing additional research and assessments.
If the results show there is an Aboriginal site in the area of proposed activity, you will need to do an extensive search to look for more information about the Aboriginal site/s.
a single lot and DP reference for a parcel of land
easting and northing coordinates of the area of the proposed activity (minimum and maximum coordinates are needed to form a rectangular search area)
longitude and Latitude coordinates of the area of the proposed activity.
map viewer that allows you to zoom in to the area of interest using a street address locator
shapefile polygon to upload any boundary (in shapefile format) for the area you want to search.
If you have already performed a basic search in AHIMS you will not need to re-enter the search coordinates as the system will re-use them.
You can also use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) boundaries of the area of proposed activity for an extensive search.
Extensive search results are provided as a report in PDF format. The report will contain more information about the Aboriginal site/s, such as site features, site location and the name of the site. Extensive search reports are made available within 10 working days.
A site card is the original document that was completed when an Aboriginal site was recorded in the field. Copies of these documents are stored in PDF format and they can be requested when additional information about a site might be necessary. Site cards might include photographs, maps, detailed descriptions of site contents and management recommendations. The level of detail in each site card varies historically and according to the effort put by the original recorder.
The site cards go back to the 1970s when the original register was established by the Australian Museum. Since then, the format and presentation of site cards have changed at times including the type of information recorded.
Archaeological reports are also known as Aboriginal cultural heritage reports. They are usually submitted as part of the due diligence process or cultural heritage studies done by archaeologists or heritage professionals.
The reports can include background information, methodology, detailed analysis, conclusions and recommendations regarding the Aboriginal cultural heritage in a particular area. Copies of these documents are stored in PDF format and can be requested when additional information about a site might be necessary.