Become a Registered Aboriginal Party in Victoria

Apply to become a Registered Aboriginal Party in Victoria.

Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) administer the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 for a specific area of Victoria.

Their role can include:

Check you're eligible

The following groups can apply to become a RAP:

Registering more than one group for an area

More than one group can be registered as a RAP for the same area. Council will make sure having more than 1 group looking after an area won't impact on how the group carries out its functions.

Council have developed some guidance information for applicants on:

Aboriginal Victoria's Right People for Country program can assist Traditional Owners to negotiate agreements between groups or within groups.

Application timelines

Council has 270 days to assess each application. You may be asked for further information to help progress your application.

This means the 270-day assessment period will restart once Council has received the information.


Applications to become a Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) need to be submitted in writing, as set out in the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018.

Criteria for assessing applications

The following types of groups will automatically be registered as a RAP:

  • A Native Title Holder with a Native Title Agreement over the whole application area
  • Traditional Owner Group Entity

No other applicant can become a RAP for that area, except another registered native title holder for that area.

Other areas Council will consider when assessing applications:

  • terms of any existing Native Title Agreements, if available
  • whether the applicant represents the Traditional Owners of the area
  • whether the applicant is a body representing Aboriginal people that have a historical or contemporary interest in Aboriginal cultural heritage relating to the area, and expertise in managing and protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • any land grants or land management agreements to which the applicant is a party in the area
  • any other matter the council considers to be relevant

Council may be in contact with you or experts from the community to help assess your application.

Appealing a Council decision

If you're unhappy with a Council decision, you can contact Court Services Victoria. We recommend seeking legal advice before starting an application review.

More information

For help with your application or to find out whether you're eligible for financial assistance with your application, contact the Aboriginal Victoria's Registered Aboriginal Party Support Officer:

Reviewed 17 February 2020

Aboriginal Heritage Council

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