Authorised Officers and Aboriginal Heritage Officers
Authorised Officers (AO) and Aboriginal Heritage Officers (AHO) are responsible for directing and overseeing Cultural Heritage Audits. They assess compliance with a Cultural Heritage Management Plan or a Cultural Heritage Permit.
AOs and AHO's are appointed by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to investigate and monitor compliance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and to enforce protection measures when necessary. In emergency situations AOs and AHOs can issue 24 hour Stop Orders.
They are authorised to gather relevant information to assist in the investigation of offences and prosecutions.
In some circumstance this gives AO and AHO's:
- general powers to enter land or private premises
- search powers upon entry
- the power to seize objects or human remains.
AO and AHO's are trained to a standard comparable to other authorised officers operating under similar Victorian legislation. AO and AHO's must produce their identity card before exercising their powers.
For further information relating to compliance and enforcement, see Guides, forms and practice notes for Aboriginal heritage management
If you suspect harm is occurring or is likely to occur to an Aboriginal place or object: