Cultural heritage bodies

The Minister may register a corporation as a cultural heritage body for an area under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 and the Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (the Acts).

The cultural heritage body must be a corporation registered under one of the following pieces of legislation:

  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cwth)
  • Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
  • Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 (Cwth)
  • Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld)
  • Cooperatives Act 1997 (Qld)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cwth). 

The sole function of a cultural heritage body is to identify the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander parties for an area and serves as the first point of contact for cultural heritage matters.

In order to become registered as a cultural heritage body, the corporation must:

  • apply in writing to the Director, Cultural Heritage Unit, Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
  • provide evidence of incorporation
  • provide evidence of the corporation’s capacity to carry out the functions of a cultural heritage body, outlining, for example, current office set up, staff numbers, phone and facsimile numbers and email address
  • provide a written description of the area subject to the application and, where possible, a map showing the area.

If the area of the application is subject to a registered native title claim, evidence that the registered native title claimant(s) for the area agree with the application must be provided.

There are no limits on the size of the land area that may be included within your application to become a cultural heritage body.

To identify a registered cultural heritage body for an area and relevant contact details, visit the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage online portal.

Contact us

For more information on cultural heritage bodies, contact the Cultural Heritage Unit:

Phone: 1300 378 401