Aboriginal 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.aboriginalvictoria.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 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 36,000 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:

a) A registered Aboriginal party, or a person authorised in writing by a registered Aboriginal party – for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the area or areas in respect of which the registered Aboriginal party is registered.

b) A member of the Aboriginal Heritage Council or a public sector employee (within the meaning of the Public Administration Act 2004) whose duties involve the administration of the Act – for the purpose of managing Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria or maintaining and updating the Register.

c) A person engaged as a heritage advisor for a cultural heritage management plan, preliminary Aboriginal heritage test, Aboriginal cultural heritage land management agreement or a cultural heritage audit – for the purpose of conducting research related to the plan, test, agreement or audit.

d) A land owner (or their authorised agent) – for the purpose of obtaining information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage that may relate to the owner's land, including a cultural heritage management plan prepared in relation to the land before the land owner became owner of that land.

e) A person who, or a body that, has the control and management of Crown land (or their authorised agent) – for the purpose of obtaining information to assist or enable the person or body to carry out functions or duties associated with the control and management of the land.

f) A person appointed or employed under Division 3 of Part 4 of the Local Government Act 1989 – for the purpose of carrying out functions or duties associated with the person's employment.

g) A heritage advisor appointed by a proposed developer, purchaser or user of land or by a person specified under paragraph (d), (e) or (f) above or (j), (k), (l), (m), (n) or (o) below in relation to land – for the purpose of obtaining information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage that may relate to the land.

h) A person who applies to the Secretary for the certification of a preliminary Aboriginal heritage test – for the purpose of obtaining information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage that may relate to the land on which the proposed activity is to be carried out.

i) A holder of a cultural heritage permit granted under section 36(1)(a) or (b) – for the purpose of obtaining information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage relating to the permit.

j) The Executive Director of Heritage Victoria – for the purpose of managing and protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage on or associated with a heritage place.

k) A Catchment Management Authority – for the purpose of obtaining information to assist or enable the Authority to carry out functions or duties associated with the control or management of land.

l) The Minister responsible for keeping the Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects under Part 2 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 of South Australia – for the purpose of obtaining information to assist with the management and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in South Australia in the vicinity of the Victorian border.

m) The Director-General appointed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 of New South Wales and responsible for maintaining the public register established under section 188F of that Act – for the purpose of obtaining information to assist with the management and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales in the vicinity of the Victorian border.

n) A person employed under Part 3 of the Public Administration Act 2004 whose responsibilities include the assessment of applications for planning permits or amendments to planning schemes – for the purpose of obtaining information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage relating to the application.

o) Any person – for the purpose of obtaining information as to whether an Aboriginal intangible heritage agreement is required or if an agreement exists.

p) A person acting with the written approval of each registered Aboriginal party for the application area, or (if there is no registered Aboriginal party for the area) with the written approval of the Aboriginal Heritage Council.


A prescribed fee applies to access the Register if you are applying under category (c) or (g). An online payment gateway is currently under development.

If you are a 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 Aboriginal 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 Aboriginal Victoria 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:

Heritage Registrar
Aboriginal Victoria
GPO BOX 2392
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
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