You must report and transfer Ancestral Remains to the Council, in accordance with the changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act.
Ancestral Remains are the whole or part of the bodily remains of an Aboriginal person.
Submit a report
If you have in your possession or know of the location of Aboriginal Ancestral Remains, you'll need to report this to us as soon as possible.
Contact the Council's Ancestral Remains Unit to make a report:
Traditional Owners reporting Ancestral Remains
Traditional Owners are exempt from reporting Aboriginal Ancestral Remains to the Council, if they:
- are the rightful owner of Aboriginal Ancestral Remains
- believe that transferring Remains to the Council is against Aboriginal tradition
Discoveries of human remains
Recent discoveries of human remains must be reported to the Coroner, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine or a police officer in charge of a police station. This can be done by contacting Coronial Admissions and Enquiries on 1300 309.
The Coroner will send a Forensic Anthropologist to the site to assess the remains, and will:
- report the remains to us if they're Aboriginal Ancestral Remains, or
- notify Victoria Police if they're not Aboriginal Ancestral Remains
Read our 2014 recommendations paper which resulted in the changes being made to the Aboriginal Heritage Act in 2016
Bringing our Ancestors Home - We will not be well until this is (HTML version).
You can also download the discussion paper and recommendations:
Reviewed 28 February 2019