The Aboriginal Heritage Council met for their regular monthly meeting on Friday 31 March 2023 in Hobart.
Council considered two permit applications, resolving to oppose one and to not oppose the second.
Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania provided Council with an update on the progress of the new Aboriginal Heritage Act and the amendments to the Lands Act. The Acts are currently at the drafting stage, and it is anticipated that they will be ready for public consultation around mid-late 2023. Post the consultation stage, feedback reports will be made publicly available to ensure the process is transparent.
Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania (AHT) staff gave an overview of the current works program focussed on strengthening the understanding and management of Aboriginal cultural values in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA). These projects have an important focus on engaging, consulting, and involving Aboriginal people in cultural heritage values management, and providing opportunities for Aboriginal people to connect to Country. In this way, these projects make a valuable contribution to achieving Closing the Gap targets and supporting Truth Telling and Treaty processes.
One key project currently underway - Aboriginal Community Access Visits to the TWWHA - provides opportunities for Aboriginal people to visit the TWWHA, access cultural resources, undertake cultural activities on Country, and engage with Country. AHT has facilitated over 45 access trips for over 500 people since 2019 (Road & Helicopter). The focus of these visits is to increase the emphasis on shared learning, cultural heritage recording and input on values management by Aboriginal people.
Other projects in the works program covered in the presentation include: Post Contact and Shared Values of the TWWHA, Rock Art in the Landscape and Seascape Project, At Risk Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes of the TWWHA Project, Assistant Aboriginal Heritage Advisors, and Aboriginal Cultural and Heritage Awareness Project.
The next meeting of the Aboriginal Heritage Council will be held on Friday 28 April 2023 in Hobart.