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Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register

What is the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register?

The register holds all the information about known Aboriginal cultural heritage places and objects within Victoria, with their location and a detailed description. 

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS) is the online tool that is used to access the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register.

The following documents are kept on the register:

Who can access the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register?

This register can only be accessed by people or organisations who need detailed information on cultural heritage places and objects to protect and manage them.

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register is not a publicly accessible register, as it contains culturally sensitive information. It can be accessed by:

  • Registered Aboriginal Parties or a person authorised on their behalf, for information about the area of their responsibility
  • a landowner to obtain information relating to the owner's land
  • a Heritage Adviser to carry out tasks required under the Act, or on behalf of a proposed development, user or purchaser of land to obtain information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage relevant to the land
  • a member of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council or public sector employee for the purpose of administering and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage, including on Crown land
  • a local government employee for the purpose of carrying out functions or duties associated with the requirements of the Act
  • a person who has written approval to access the Register from the relevant Registered Aboriginal Party(ies), or the Aboriginal Heritage Council
  • a person who applies to the Secretary for the certification of a preliminary Aboriginal heritage test
  • a holder of a Cultural Heritage Permit - for the purpose of obtaining information on any Aboriginal cultural heritage relating to the permit
  • a Catchment Management Authority – for the purpose of obtaining information and to assist in carrying out functions associated with the control or management of land
  • a person getting information as to whether an Aboriginal Intangible Heritage Agreement is required or if an agreement exists.

For further information and forms see Aboriginal Heritage Management - Guides, Forms and Practice Notes.

Don't fit into any of these categories?

If you don't fit into the above categories, enquiries about a specific area can be made through an application for advice, using the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS).

This must be accompanied by a fee (paid by credit card or direct debit) of $85.32 (GST exempt) for a turnaround time of at least 10 business days. To fast track within 2-3 business days (depending on the time of day received and complexity of the search) you must provide $170.64.

You will receive a certificate of advice, otherwise known as the Aboriginal Heritage Certificate.

This certificate clarifies whether any Aboriginal cultural heritage places or objects are located on the land, or if it falls within an area of Aboriginal cultural heritage sensitivity. If you intend to make changes to the land, then you may need to complete a Cultural Heritage Management Plan.

If any Aboriginal cultural heritage places or objects are registered on the land, the certificate will be accompanied by a listing of those registrations, including details of the register number and name of place and an indication of the type of heritage involved.

When you apply online include an email address. You will be emailed a reference number for your submitted application. Once approved, the Aboriginal Heritage Certificate will be emailed.

How do you apply for ACHRIS access?

You can apply to access the register through the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS).

We've created some guides to help make using the ACHRIS application easier for you:

How to complete a public application for access to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register How to complete a public application for access to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage RegisterDOC (938 KB)  How to complete a public application for access to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register How to complete a public application for access to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage RegisterPDF (629.72 KB) How to complete an application for advice about the existence of records held on the VAHR for a nominated area of land How to complete an application for advice about the existence of records held on the VAHR for a nominated area of landDOC (874.5 KB) How to complete an application for advice about the existence of records held on the VAHR for a nominated area of land How to complete an application for advice about the existence of records held on the VAHR for a nominated area of landPDF (502.56 KB)

Customised user guides for both Heritage Advisers and Registered Aboriginal Parties are available upon request.

Contact us

Aboriginal Victoria staff provide assistance for ACHRIS on weekdays from 9:30am to 4:30pm
Email: VAHR@dpc.vic.gov.au
Phone: 1800 762 003

Why do we have the Register?

The Department of Premier and Cabinet is required to maintain a Register of Aboriginal places and objects under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. The quality and type of information available to users of the Register is fundamental to the management of Aboriginal heritage now and into the future. Over 36,000 Aboriginal objects and places have been recorded on ACHRIS and many of these places and objects are located on private property. There are still many Aboriginal places and objects yet to be discovered.