Cultural Heritage Reform

The Alliance is working to strengthen and modernise cultural heritage laws and to create industry reforms to ensure Indigenous Cultural Heritage is valued and protected for the future.

The laws governing cultural heritage protection are not working for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The commonwealth, state and territory laws governing cultural heritage in Australia do not meet the standards or expectations of First Nations people, everyday Australians or the international community.

The relevant laws across the country are currently more focused on regulating the destruction of First Nations cultural heritage than protecting or celebrating it.

First Nations peoples are the right people to make decisions about their own heritage.  The Alliance is working for legislative reforms that entrench First Nations Peoples as key decision makers and prioritise the protection of cultural heritage.

STRENGTHENING CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION AT A NATIONAL LEVEL

Partnership with Commonwealth
Governance
The Reform process
Stage One consultations
Stage Two consultations

The First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance and the Australian Government have formed a partnership to improve First Nations cultural heritage protections.

This partnership agreement was signed on the 29 November 2021 and commits both parties to a co-design process to reform cultural heritage protection.

The immediate priority of the partnership is to undertake a national engagement through a two staged approach. At the conclusion of this process, we will jointly provide the Alliance Leadership and the Australian Government options for cultural heritage reform.

Read more here

The Partnership

The purpose of the partnership is to:

  • Undertake a national consultation process;
  • Develop options to be considered by the Minister for Environment to improve protections for Indigenous cultural heritage; and
  • Provide advice to the Minister on the timing and scope for a meeting with relevant State and Territory Ministers (Ministerial Roundtable).
  • The partnership will consider policy transformation, law reform, administrative improvement, and the review and restructure of processes, procedures and protocols.

Find out more about the partnership between Alliance and Commonwealth here.

Partnership Governance

The partnership agreement:

  • Establishes an Implementation Working Group (IWG) to provide administrative support to the JWG and lead the work of the Partnership.

Governance structure

FNHPA Governernace Chart updated on August 2022

FNHPA Governernace Chart updated on August 2022

The reform process

  • This process is about co-designing options for reform, to be presented to the Minister for the Environment and the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance leadership for consideration.
  • The process will be informed by a national engagement process delivered in two stages over 12 months.
  • Stage 1 consultations ran from March until June 2022.
  • The feedback from Stage 1 will be collated into a directions paper to summarise the findings. It will also allow the Alliance to consider further exploration options and provide the strategic direction for Stage 2 engagements.
  • Stage 2 will include a broader engagement process with First Nations peoples and communities, industry and governments, in face-to-face consultations across the country, however, the option to still meet online or provide written feedback to be available.
  • The Partnership Agreement stipulates that the Alliance and the Commonwealth will jointly consider opportunities for reform, through a co-designed national engagement process.
  • Within the scope outlined, the Alliance will consider legislative reform, policy transformation, administrative improvement, and governance.
  • The Alliance is clear this must be a genuine opportunity for reform and not just another government process that gathers dust on the shelf.

 

Stage One Consultations

The First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance and the Australian Government have formed a partnership to improve First Nations cultural heritage protections.
This partnership agreement was signed on 29 November 2021 and commits both parties to co-design options to reform cultural heritage protection.

The immediate priority of the partnership is to undertake a two-staged national engagement. At the conclusion of this process, we will jointly provide the Alliance Leadership and the Australian Government with options for cultural heritage reform.

Phase 1 Engagement and consultations – March to June 2022

  • Engagement will be delivered predominantly online
  • Invitations will be extended to:
    • First Nations people and organisations
    • State and territory governments
    • Industry
  • Stage 1 consultations will set the broad parameters for reform options that will inform a more detailed options paper

Download the Stage 1 discussion paper here

Download the Implementation plan here

Download the Implementation plan Terms of Reference here

The Australian Government’s information on this process can be found here

 

Stage Two Consultations

Phase 2 Engagement and consultations – August to November 2022

Stage 2 will be a broad national engagement process informed by the findings of stage 1.
For further information and to book a stage 2 consultation please email the Alliance Secretariat.

Stage 2 consultations will focus on First Nations people and groups around Australia and will be open to all interested community members. The consultations will also include industry groups, governments and other relevant stakeholders