Indigenous heritage is protected by a single Act within Victoria, the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (VIC) (Act), which protects Aboriginal Objects, Aboriginal Areas and Aboriginal cultural heritage.
The Act is administered by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The Act protects Aboriginal cultural heritage and Aboriginal intangible heritage (s.1) which is defined to include:
- for Aboriginal cultural heritage, Aboriginal places, Aboriginal objects and Aboriginal ancestral remains which are each subject
to their own definition (s.4); and
- for Aboriginal intangible heritage, any knowledge of or expression of Aboriginal tradition, other than Aboriginal cultural
heritage, and includes oral traditions, performing arts, stories, rituals, festivals, social practices, craft, visual arts, and environmental and ecological knowledge, but does not include anything that is widely known to the public (s.79B).
The act was amended in 2016.