What is Archaeology?
Archaeology involves the study of materials that people left behind in order to generate information about how those people lived. The study of material culture can contribute to an understanding of the ways in which people lived during both historic and pre-historic (pre-written records) times.
Archaeology’s main function is to provide information about behaviour and material cultural that can not otherwise be procured via oral tradition or historic documents.
Archaeologists often use the data they obtain during surveys and excavations to explore the ways in which people made and used tools, as well as how they moved around the landscape and related to one another.
What is a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP)?
A Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) has been established under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 to protect and manage Aboriginal cultural heritage with the involvement of Registered Aboriginal Parties whilst allowing development to proceed.
Why do I need an archaeologist or heritage consultant?
Cultural Heritage Advisors play a key role in the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria. They are required to assist sponsors in the preparation of a CHMP, conduct heritage audits in compliance with the directors of an inspector and/or supervise activites authorised by a cultural heritage permit.
When do I need heritage advice?
Heritage advice may be required if you have a known or suspected cultural heritage site, or when directed as part of statutory approval process.
How do I demonstrate if significant ground disturbance has occurred?
A Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) is not required if all of the land in questions has been subject to significant ground disturbance. The definition of significant ground disturbance is provided by AV Practice Notes. The expertise to decide lies in the areas of a civil engineer, surveyour or geomorphologists. Archaeologists can assist where excavation is required. Tardis geomorphological services are specifically devised to assist in such determinations.
When do I need a CHMP?
A Cultural Heritage Management Plan is required if a project is defined as high impact and is being partly or wholly on culturally sensitive landform as defined in the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007.
For further information in relation to Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMP) please click on the link below:
When do I need a Cultural Heritage Permit (CHP) to harm?
If you plan to complete any activity that is likely to cause harm to an Aboriginal cultural heritage site, and the activity does not require a CHMP (see above), you will need to obtain a Cultural Heritage Permit prior to completing the activity.
It is also necessary to obtain a Cultural Heritage Permit if you plan to carry out scientific research on an Aboriginal place, buy or sell an Aboriginal object that was not made for the purpose of sale, or remove Aboriginal cultural heritage from Victoria.
How much does a Cultural Heritage Permit cost?
The cost of obtaining a Cultural Heritage Permit varies depending on the purpose for which it is required.
For further information on Fees and Charges please click on the link below:
How do I find out whether a property has been previously assessed or contains recorded sites?
The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register (VAHR) contains a record of all previously recorded Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, as well as all archaeological surveys and Cultural Heritage Management Plans that have been completed in Victoria.
When information contained within the VAHR is required for the purposes of protecting or managing Aboriginal cultural heritage, the register can be consulted by heritage advisors, land owners, Registered Aboriginal Parties, members of the Aboriginal Heritage Council, local government employees, and when written approval has been provided to a person by the relevant Registered Aboriginal Party or the Aboriginal Heritage Council.
Applicants who do not have approved access to the VAHR and would like to determine whether an Aboriginal place exists within a specified piece of land may submit the following form to the Heritage Registry:
‘ Application for advice as to the existence of records in relation to a nominated area of land.’
The applicant must fill out all required sections of the form and provide clear and concise maps of the nominated land.
The application form can be downloaded from AV website. Please click the link below.
What is a Registered Aboriginal Party?
The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 makes provision for the Aboriginal Heritage Council to appoint specific applicant groups as Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs). RAPs have responsibility relating to the management of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage under the Act.
What is the role of a Registered Aboriginal Party in the preparation of a CHMP?
RAPs may elect to evaluate a CHMP, and may also consult with the sponsor regarding the assessment and recommendations. RAPs also consider employment during the conduct of the plan as part of consultation.
How much do CHMP’s cost?
The cost of CHMPs is dependant on the size of an activity, the nature of the activity and the extent to which harm to heritage sites can be avoided. It is recommended that only heritage advisors accredited with the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc be engaged.
The Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists website is:
How long do CHMP’s take?
A CHMP can take from 2 months to more than 1-2 years. Preparation time is dependent on scale of activity and heritage management strategies.
What if a CHMP is refused?
If a CHMP is rejected this decision can be appealed at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
What roles does Aboriginal Victoria (AV) play?
AV administers the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 on a day to day basis. It is also the repository for all data gathered on Aboriginal Heritage. Where a RAP has elected not to evaluate, or has not been appointed, AV are also required to evaluate CHMP. It is also AV’s role to consult with any non-RAP group that it considers relevant for a particular area.
What if I need other related specialised services?
In some instances related specialist services may be required to complete a management plan, comply with a permit, provide expert witness at VCAT etc. Tardis has strong alliance with numerous leading specialists in their area that can be relied upon for objective and rational input. Examples of specialist inputs areas that are often required are:
- Dating Laboratories;
- Residue Analysis
- DNA Analysis
- Conservation Architecture;
- Education Publications; and
- Many More
What is Native Title?
Only unalienated Crown Land can be subject to a Native Title Claim. Tardis can assist a sponsor in determining and managing the risk of Native Title issues.
What is an historical archaeological site?
It is the remains of all non-Aboriginal archaeological sites. Historic archaeological sites must have some archaeological (burial or ruins) component. Historic sites such as old bridges, dry stone walls etc with no archaeological component are not affored protection under relevant legislation.
What is the relevant legislation for Historic Archaeology?
The Heritage Act 2017 protects all historic archaeological site, whether formally recorded or not that are 50 years or older.
Heritage Victoria Website:
Who do I get to manage historic archaeological sites/artefacts?
Historic archaeological sites/place/artefacts must be managed by people who are both qualified and experienced in Australian Historic Archaeology. Tardis has several staff with extensive formal qualifications and many years experience. AACAI has a list of accredited historic archaeologist.