Why is this important?
The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (the Act) recognises that Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) represent Aboriginal people for the management and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
RAP responsibilities include approving Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMPs), advising on applications for Cultural Heritage Permits (CHPs), entering into Cultural Heritage Agreements and applying to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs for interim or ongoing Protection Declarations. (Read more – visit the OAAV website).
Council’s role in protecting and conserving places of Aboriginal cultural heritage significance, and in promoting community awareness of Aboriginal history and cultural heritage can only be achieved through effective relationships with RAPs. To learn more about Registered Aboriginal Parties and how to work with them, click here.
What can your council do?
Relationships between RAPs and local government can be strengthened by:
- Developing a local government engagement agreement
- Inviting Traditional Owners to council events and activities
- Establishing Land Management Agreements with RAPs
- Formalising the involvement of RAPs in council structures and decision making processes that impact on land and heritage
- Liaising with RAPs during the development of planning schemes
- Supporting Aboriginal participation in the management of public parks and places.
The 2012 Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Engagement and Reconciliation Survey found that 36 councils had worked with RAPs or Traditional Owners on the protection works of significant Aboriginal cultural heritage places, culturally sensitive areas, and on distributing information about obligations under the Act.