Ministerial endorsement to improve Aboriginal Cultural Heritage legislation

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council congratulates The Hon Gabrielle Williams MP, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, on her commitment to improving Aboriginal Cultural Heritage legislation.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020 at 7:33 am
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Gabrielle WIlliams, Minister for Prevention of Family Violence

The Chair of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council, Mr Rodney Carter today congratulated Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Gabrielle Williams, on her public commitment to work to improve the standard of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage legislation in Victoria and nationally.

Mr Carter’s comments followed Ms Williams’ participation at a National Ministerial Indigenous Heritage Roundtable Meeting of Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers with responsibility for Heritage and Indigenous Affairs held on 21st September 2020.

Commonwealth Minister for Indigenous Australians, Mr Ken Wyatt, emphasised that the work of lifting the standard of Indigenous heritage protection must be done in partnership with Indigenous Australians. Other ministers agreed with Minister Wyatt on the importance of this partnership.

The Ministers were briefed on two documents developed by the Heritage Chairs & Officials of Australia and New Zealand: Dhawura Ngilan: A Vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage in Australia and Best Practice Standards for Indigenous Cultural Heritage Management and Legislation. The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council was closely involved in the development of these documents

The Vision and Standards documents outline how all Australian governments can give effect to their obligation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with respect to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.  While all Ministers acknowledged the importance of these documents, Minister Williams, on behalf the Victorian Government, specifically endorsed them.

Mr Carter added that the Victorian Government’s endorsement of the UNDRIP principles as they apply to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage ensured that Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage would maintain its position as nation-leading in recognising the role of Traditional Owners in protecting Aboriginal Cultural Heritage for the benefit of all Victorians.