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Guidance for Heritage Advisors is changing

Guidance for who can be a Heritage Advisor and how they do their work is changing.

The Minister’s Guidelines on Appropriate Qualifications for Heritage Advisors are being revised and expanded, and a new Code of Conduct for Heritage Advisors is now proposed. Feedback is invited.

    Proposed Revision of the Minister's Guidelines

    Heritage Advisors play an important part in how Aboriginal cultural heritage is protected and managed in Victoria. It is essential that Heritage Advisors have strong expertise and experience, and that they understand their responsibilities to work with RAPs and Traditional Owners as the primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

    A person can only be engaged as a Heritage Advisor if they satisfy either of two pathways set out in section 189(1) of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006:

    1. by being appropriately qualified and experienced in a discipline relevant to the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage such as anthropology, archaeology or history; or
    2. by having extensive experience or knowledge in relation to the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

    The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs can set guidelines for these two pathways.

    Minister Williams would like to update and refresh the existing guidelines, which currently only address the qualifications needed under the first pathway. The Minister has already consulted with the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (VAHC) about how to improve the guidelines.

    First Peoples - State Relations now seeks feedback on the proposed revised guidelines.

    Proposed Code of Conduct for Heritage Advisors

    The Heritage Advisors List aims to help developers and land managers find and engage a Heritage Advisor.

    You can access the list by downloading the below document:

    Being on the list doesn’t mean that the Heritage Advisor is ‘endorsed’ by First Peoples - State Relations. It is also not compulsory for Heritage Advisors to be on the list.

    The Minister has proposed that Heritage Advisors who want to be on the Heritage Advisor List must sign up to a new Code of Heritage Advisor Conduct.

    A draft Code of Heritage Advisor Conduct has been prepared and shared with the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council for feedback.

    The draft Code of Conduct for Heritage Advisors seeks to guide Heritage Advisors in how they go about their work and maintain their professionalism. This includes Heritage Advisors who are Traditional Owners. The Code also makes clear to those who engage and work with Heritage Advisors what behaviours they can expect.

    The draft Code is structured around 4 principles:

    • compliance
    • cultural respect
    • professional integrity, and
    • pursuit of professional development.

    Feedback is invited

    You're welcome to provide feedback if you are:

    • a Registered Aboriginal Party
    • a Traditional Owner
    • a current or aspiring Heritage Advisor
    • a professional association relevant to Aboriginal cultural heritage, or
    • another stakeholder actively involved in the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

    Please email your feedback on the proposed revised Guidelines and Code to aboriginal.heritage@dpc.vic.gov.au, or by post to Heritage Services, First Peoples - State Relations, GPO Box 4912, Melbourne, VIC 3001 by close of business on 24 June 2022.

    Please include:

    • who you are - your name and, briefly, how you are involved in the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage
    • who you represent, if relevant - the name of the organisation on whose behalf you are providing feedback
    • your feedback on the proposed revised Minister’s Guidelines on Heritage Advisor Qualifications and Experience
    • your feedback on the proposed Code of Conduct for Heritage Advisors.

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    Contact email: aboriginal.heritage@dpc.vic.gov.au
    Contact number: 03 9922 7617

    Reviewed 23 January 2023

    First Peoples - State Relations

    What's next?

      Contact us

      Traditional Owner Relationships and Heritage First Peoples - State Relations GPO Box 4912, Melbourne, VIC 3001

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