Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria

Welcome to ACHRIS

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS) is the online portal of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register, providing resources and services to various stakeholders throughout Victoria.

Cultural Heritage Management in Victoria The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (the Act) and Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 (the Regulations) provide protection and management for Victoria's Aboriginal heritage with streamlined processes linked to the Victorian planning system. The legislation provides protection for all Aboriginal places, objects and ancestral remains regardless of their inclusion on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register or if they are located on public or private land.

The Act also provides clear guidance to planners and developers about when, and how, Aboriginal cultural heritage needs to be considered, and in some situations work cannot proceed until compliance is met. Large developments and other high impact activities in culturally sensitive landscapes can cause significant harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage. In these situations the Act may require the preparation of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan or the planner or developer may need to obtain a Cultural Heritage Permit. To learn more about the Aboriginal Heritage Act, Cultural Heritage Management Plans or Cultural Heritage Permits, please visit www.aboriginalaffairs.vic.gov.au
 
Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register (the Register), or VAHR, established by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, is an important administrative tool for the successful management of Aboriginal cultural heritage. The Register holds the records of all known Aboriginal cultural heritage places and objects within Victoria. Aboriginal heritage places and objects are irreplaceable, non-renewable resources and can also include traditional and spiritual sites of significance. These places or objects are normally identified during archaeological surveys, and are recorded by Cultural Heritage Advisors.

Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) play a key role in the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage. The Register holds information on each Registered Aboriginal Party, their area of responsibility and contact details.

The quality of information available to users of the Register allows for effective management of Aboriginal heritage now and for the future. To date over 30,000 Aboriginal places and objects have been recorded on the VAHR and many of these places and objects are located on private property. There are still many Aboriginal places and objects yet to be discovered.
 
Access to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register is not publicly accessible because it contains culturally sensitive information. In accordance with section 146 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, the Register can be accessed by certain people or organisations who need detailed information on cultural heritage places and objects to protect and manage them. The Register can be accessed by:

Registered Aboriginal Parties, or a person authorised on their behalf, for information about their area of responsibility.

A landowner to obtain information relating to the owner's land.

A Cultural Heritage Advisor to carry out tasks required under the Act, or on behalf of a proposed developer, user or purchaser of land, to obtain information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage relevant to the land.

A member of the Aboriginal Heritage Council or public sector employee for the purpose of administering and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage, including on Crown land.

A local government employee for the purpose of carrying out functions or duties associated with the requirements of the Act.

A person who has written approval to access the Register from the relevant Registered Aboriginal Party(ies), or the Aboriginal Heritage Council where there is no appointed Registered Aboriginal Party.


If you are a Cultural Heritage Advisor with a valid Cultural Heritage Management Plan number, you can access the Register by logging in and selecting Register Search from the menu. Alternatively, you may apply for access to the Register by selecting Application for Access from the menu and completing the form. Once this application is reviewed and approved, you will receive an email notification which contains an Access Approval Number that can be used to access the Register.

If you are a Registered Aboriginal Party user you may access the Register relating to your area of responsibility by logging in and selecting Register Search from the menu.

All other applicants from the above categories should select Application for Access from the menu and complete an application form.

For parties outside the above listed categories, general enquiries about the presence of known Aboriginal cultural heritage places in a specific area can be made through an Application for Advice about records on the Register (see below).
 
Apply for Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register Advice Parties outside the above listed categories, or parties wishing for a formal response from Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria as opposed to searching the Register themselves, may apply for advice as to the existence of records in relation to a nominated area of land in accordance with section 147 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. To submit an application, select Application for Advice from the menu and complete the application form.

A prescribed fee must accompany an application. Refer to 'Who may access the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register' on the OAAV website for the current fee payable. An online payment gateway is currently under development, however, as an interim measure please forward a cheque or money order made out to the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Please include your application reference number with the cheque. Our postal address is:

The Heritage Registrar
Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria
GPO BOX 2392
MELBOURNE VIC 3001