The Register holds all the information about known Aboriginal cultural heritage places and objects within Victoria, with their location and a detailed description.
The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information (ACHRIS) is the online tool that is used to access the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage . (ACHRIS supports Chrome and Firefox browsers. Chrome is recommended.)
Who may access the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register?
This can only be accessed by people or organisations who need detailed information on cultural heritage places and objects to protect and manage them.
The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage is not a publicly accessible register, as it contains culturally sensitive information. It can be accessed by:
- Registered Aboriginal or a person authorised on their behalf, for information about the area of their responsibility
- a landowner to obtain information relating to the owner's land
- a Heritage to carry out tasks required under the Act, or on behalf of a proposed development, user or purchaser of land to obtain information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage relevant to the land
- a member of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage 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 from the relevant Registered Aboriginal , or the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage
- a person who applies to the Secretary for the certification of a preliminary Aboriginal heritage
- a holder of a Cultural Heritage - for the purpose of obtaining information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage relating to the permit
- a Catchment Management Authority – for the purpose of obtaining information and to assist in carrying out functions associated with the control or management of land
- a person getting information as to whether an Aboriginal Intangible Heritage is required or if an agreement exists.
How to apply for access to the Register
Registered ACHRIS users with Local Government Authority (LGA) access or Crown Land manager access are required to submit an Application for Access before being able to access the Register.
To get access to the Register, you must apply using the online application form in the ACHRIS .
On the homepage, a list of functions appears on the left-hand side.
If you are a registered ACHRIS user, you must firstly log in to before applying for access to the . (Select Login.)
From the Home page, select Application for Access from the left-hand menu, then select Complete Application. A template for a new Application is presented.
Make an application for advice
If you don't fit into the above categories, enquiries about a specific area can be made through an application for advice, using .
This must be accompanied by a fee (paid by credit card or direct debit) for a turnaround time of at least 10 business days. A Priority Processing fee can be paid to fast track the application within 2-3 business days (depending on the time of day received and complexity of the search).
You will receive a certificate of advice, otherwise known as the Aboriginal Heritage Certificate.
This certificate clarifies whether any Aboriginal cultural heritage places or objects are located on the land, or if it falls within an 'area of cultural heritage '. If you intend to make changes to the land, then you may need to complete a Cultural Heritage Management .
If any Aboriginal cultural heritage places or objects are registered on the land, the certificate will be accompanied by a listing of those registrations, including details of the register number and name of place and an indication of the type of heritage involved.
When you apply online include an email address. You will be emailed a reference number for your submitted application. Once approved, the Aboriginal Heritage Certificate will be emailed.
How to complete the online form
The online specifies the information to be provided by a person or party seeking access to records held on the .
The form contains a number of sections. Some fields are displayed conditionally – certain information you provide will generate the display of other fields.
Supporting documentation in various file formats can be attached to the application . For example, documents including maps, plans, photos and spatial attachments can be uploaded, where requested.
There are some mandatory fields which require a response prior to submission of the form. Mandatory fields are marked with a red asterisk – for example
Purpose of application*
Providing as much information as possible when submitting the Application for form will facilitate processing and review by Heritage Registry in First Peoples - State Relations.
Sections of the Application for Access form
The form contains the following sections:
- Applicant Information
- Applicant Category
- Land Description
- Purpose of Application
- Information Sought
- Information Management
- Attach Additional Information
- Terms and Conditions of Access to the Register
Name and contact details of the applicant, including organisation name as appropriate, are required.
If you are a registered ACHRIS user, the account you used to log on to the ACHRIS system records the name and contact details of the account holder. This information is used to pre-fill the Applicant’s name and contact details fields on the screen. These fields can be changed – overwritten if needed.
The categories of people or parties who may have access to the are set out in section 1 of this document. These 16 categories are listed and detailed on the online form. An applicant must indicate under which of the specified categories you are applying for access.
Note that a person who, or a party that, does not meet one of the criteria detailed in the list of categories cannot access the . In this case, a separate Application for Advice (under s.147 of the Act) may be made as to whether a record exists on the in relation to a nominated area of land.
Provide the best available description of the land to which the request relates. A copy of the Title should be attached, if available. A Property Address should be provided, where applicable. Land References – Subdivisional References (Lot/Plan details) and Crown References (Parish/Allotment etc. details) can be provided.
Attach a map or plan (e.g. pdf file) with sufficient detail to identify the boundaries of the application area. A spatial file, such as an ESRI shapefile, which represents the nominated area of land may be attached. More than one file can be uploaded, if needed.
Purpose of application
A reason for your request for access to the must be provided. For example, for a Heritage , the purpose may be for a Cultural Heritage Management , cultural heritage audit, desktop assessment or due diligence.
The information required from the must be specified. This could be, for example, information on reports of registered Aboriginal Places, Cultural Heritage Management or other archaeological reports.
Information accessed from the must be treated as confidential. Arrangements for ensuring its confidentiality must be described.
Attach Additional Information
As much supporting information as possible in relation to the applicant category and the purpose for access should be provided. This may include any authorisation or approval, or evidence of appointment if you are a Heritage , or documents demonstrating land ownership.
If you are a Heritage applying under category G (only) who is permanently engaged by a ‘non-heritage’ organisation, such as Melbourne Water, and conducting due diligence for that organisation’s own projects, then you are not required to provide evidence of appointment.
Terms and Conditions of Access to the Register
The Terms and Conditions under which access to the is provided are defined in this section. An acknowledgement that you have read and accepted these Terms and Conditions is required as a condition of obtaining access to the .
Submitting the application for access form
Click Submit at the bottom of the Application for form to submit yourApplication for to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage .
A prescribed applies to access the if you are applying under category C or G. These categories are detailed in section 1 of this document. The prescribed must accompany the application.
On submitting an Application for form, a Heritage Advisor applying under category C or G will be presented with a Payment Information screen specifying the prescribed to be paid. First Peoples - State Relations has an arrangement with the Westpac bank which ensures that secure online credit card payments can be made.
What happens next?
Following submission of the Application for form and, where applicable, payment of the prescribed , a screen message acknowledges successful submission:
Your application for access to the VAHR has been successfully submitted
An automated email notification will be sent to you confirming the submitted application is being processed. The notification will contain an application reference number.
First Peoples - State Relations Heritage Registry staff process Applications for in order of receipt and will contact you if there are any queries about your application. When approved, applicants who have requested access to the Register for a purpose other than a Cultural Heritage Management will receive another automated email notification which provides an Access Approval Number. This number is required to be entered when you access the ACHRIS Register Search facility and is valid for 30 days.
Searching the Register with ACHRIS
From the ACHRIS Home page, selecting any Register Search menu item (Register Search Map, Find Registered Aboriginal Places, Find Archaeological Reports) will bring up the Access to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register screen. Insert your Access Approval Number (or Cultural Heritage Management Number) to gain access.
Reviewed 06 October 2021