Heritage assessments to focus on Indigenous culture

The Hon Sussan Ley MP
Minister for the Environment

The recognition of Indigenous Cultural Heritage will be prioritised in upcoming assessments for the Commonwealth and National Heritage lists.

Nominations for both lists will open from 2 December to 25 February, and Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley has asked the Australian Heritage Council to prioritise Indigenous Cultural Heritage for the assessment period.

“Of the 118 sites on the National Heritage list-a list that includes places such as the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Erawondoo Hill in Western Australia, Quinkan Country in Queensland and lesser-known gems such as Dirk Hartog’s Landing Site in Western Australia-37 are currently recognised for their Indigenous culture and it is time to address that number,” Minister Ley said.

“The Australian Government is committed to modernising the protection of Indigenous cultural heritage, and it is vital that Indigenous people are involved in the preservation of our nation’s iconic sites.”

The recent Indigenous Ministerial Roundtable of State and Territory Ministers with responsibility for Heritage and Indigenous Affairs, chaired by the Minister Ley and Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, highlighted the importance of protecting Indigenous heritage in partnership with Indigenous Australians.

At the Roundtable, the Australian Heritage Council presented Dhawura Ngilan: A Vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage in Australia, and Best Practice Standards for Indigenous Cultural Heritage Management and Legislation. Authored by the Indigenous Heritage Chairs of Australia, this is a powerful document which emphasises the significance of Australia’s Indigenous heritage.

“Heritage is the legacy of our past, and our bequest to future generations,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage is central to Australia’s national story.

“I encourage the community to consider nominating special places with outstanding heritage value to the nation, particularly sites of Indigenous cultural significance.”

Nominations for both the Commonwealth and National heritage lists will open on 2 December 2020 and close on 25 February 2021.

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