The State Aboriginal Heritage Committee (SAHC) meeting lasted 2 days (6-7 May 2009) and it was held at Comfort Inn Haven Marina Glenelg North. The SAHC is a 12 member Ministerial appointed committee which advises the Minister about heritage. The meeting was organised with the main purpose to discuss issues affecting Indigenous people, as well as relationship between the committee, developers and government.
Although appointed by the Minister, the committee represents interests of and Indigenous people. The meeting started with the acknowledgement of the Kaurna people land. As a guest observer, I was giving opportunity to introduce myself and make a brief presentation.
During the meeting was discussed 2009 Schedule of meetings and location for regional meetings for the remainder of this year. Approval by the SAHC of the Meeting of the Waters Site pursuant to section 12 of the Act as an Aboriginal Site as defined by part 1, Section 3 of the Act and to be entered in the register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects as proposed by the Dept of Water, Land and Biodivesrity Conservation (DWLBC). The motion was voted unanimously.
Another motion voted was related to Park infrastructure construction in Coongie Lakes Midden It was supported by the SAHC pursuant to section 23 of the Act, to ‘damage, disturb or destroy’ the “Aboriginal site” known as Coongie Lakes Midden. The Dept for Environment and Heritage (DEH) was the proponent. The motion had 7 votes for and 2 against and carried.
This review was taken at the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division Department of the Premier and Cabinet (AARD) and was conducted by representatives of the State Government. The state government released its Scoping Paper for the review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 in December 2008. Reviewing the Act is considered the most consultative process realized in SA. The Scoping Paper was designed to describe the context of and reasons for reviewing the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988. Thus, the enactment of Native Title Act 1993(Commonwealth), new Aboriginal heritage legislation interstate, the Government’s Native Title Claims Resolution Process, development and implementation of legislation that takes an integrated approach to land management and use, the widespread use of agreements negotiated directly between Aboriginal people and land developers about heritage and related matters, implementation of the South Australian Strategic Plan are part of the context and reasons behind the review initiated by the State Government.
The purpose of this process is to see included in the new act principles such as recognition of Aboriginal custodians of cultural heritage, a much stronger framework for long-term protection and management of Aboriginal heritage, enabling Aboriginal negotiation of agreements about heritage, embedding Aboriginal heritage considerations into the development and land management process, more efficient process, certainty to all parties and complementing the Native Title Act 1993(Cth). On the other hand, the Joint Heritage Committees, which consist of the Aboriginal Congress of SA Inc.Heritage Sub-Committee and the State Aboriginal Heritage Committee (SAHC), would like to see in the new Act four key changes: establishment of an Independent Aboriginal Authority, Make developers produce and negotiate and Aboriginal Heritage Management Plan, Use of local Organisations to contact the right people for heritage and to wider the meaning of Heritage(Knowledge, all waters and land, Plants, Animals and natural resources and repatriation). The final stage will consist on the adoption of new legislation after approval by parliament in 2010, but further consultation is needed.
As student of cultural Heritage Practicum, I am going to share with you part of my experiences with the Aboriginal Heritage Branch of the Aboriginal Affairs Reconciliation Division (AARD) of South Australia. It has been interesting since I am in contact with the real world involving management of cultural heritage sites and traditional owners living in the country, South Australia. The main function of the Branch is to improve the administration of the Aboriginal Heritage Act as well as to ensure understanding of and compliance with the Act.
Day 1: 27/04/09
Field trip to Northern Yake, Port Augusta and Leigh Creek
A field trip to Northern Yake, Port Augusta and Leigh Creek involving Peter Birt, heritage officer, and me was organised. The purpose to Northern Yake was to display information on the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 for Natural Resource Managers. During the meeting oriented by Peter Birt questions such as how to determine the importance of a site, how to get information from the central archive and the timeframe to get it, how to protect a site from damage as well as to determine responsibilities in case of rehabilitation of a site. Site damage and how to protect them in accordance with the Act was another issue presented by the managers as part of their attributions and concerns. Reluctance of Aboriginal people to cooperate with managers in identifying sites is another problem faced by the managers because traditional owners mistrust the Act. Further, Indigenous people do not identify sites because they think that they are not contextualized with archaeology. Tensions in the communities are another part of the problem as it does not allow them to perform any management action without their permission. However, the heritage officer explained that any action to be taken in a site must be done after consultation with AARD and in accordance with the Act besides acceptance of traditional owners. In summary, the meeting was useful as they could ask questions and get some explanations about the Act even though it is going through a revision process.
Day 2: 28/04/09
The second phase of our trip was a preliminary meeting with Andamooka people in Port Augusta to identify and register sites of importance for them. Wilfred Stragways traditional owner member of the local council had site of cultural importance which consisted in black oaks used to make boomerangs and water hole (contact site). The site is located in Angorichina. Site cards (A e B) to register and identify the sites were delivered to him and an explanation about how to use it was given by the heritage officer, and was stressed that contextualization of the sites were important to assess significance. For Wilfred Stragways, the site was of importance because his mother was born there and it was under threat of damage. Disclosure of information related with registered sites of Aboriginal people is done after consultation with people responsible for the area which is stipulated on the Act. The inclusion of these proceedings in the Act was to protect Aboriginal sites as the heritage officer explained.
Well things have been progressing quite nicely since the last time I posted here. My worldwide study of the protection of space heritage sites has now been reduced to looking at 14! On the plus side at least there are 14 nations that have online registers.
I’ve have searched all of the registers I could find, and if I can venture my personal opinion, the best one would probably be the one used by the USA, all the sites are split by category, or architect or location, whereas most other countries either have a LONG list of sites or only a keyword search engine which, unless you guess the right wording for the type of site you are looking for, makes my kind of searching rather difficult.
The downside that I have found is that most of the countries with large amounts of heritage sites, mainly the USA and UK, have not got complete records online, the USA hasn’t got around to digitising all of the paper ones, and the UK only has a handful of counties online. This means my worldwide search is now an incomplete search of a dozen countries….. Oh well, I suppose this is what happens.
Also out of the tens of millions of sites that can be found on all of these registers, the number of ones which have a space significance can be counted on one hand……. I get the feeling national governments do not place a high significance on these types of sites.
Hi all, my name is Olly and I am currently taking the ARCH 8508 Directed Studies class with Alice Gorman. For my project I have the chance to look into a “new” area of heritage management, the heritage of Space. What I have been asked to do is to identify what, if any, sites with “space significance” are currently listed on national heritage registers across the world.
So far I have been worried to discover that there are currently 192 independent nation sates in the world in 2009, and there are quite a few that I have never heard of! Unsurprisingly not all the countries speak English and it seems that quite a few have also shunned posting national laws on the internet where anyone can see them, which means that my world-wide study is going to have to be slightly limited in scope.
On the brighter side I have been able to find about 80 legislations on the internet in English and after reading all of them it’s surprising how similar they turn out to be. I also think I have heard every possible phrasing of the sentence “Sites of National Heritage Significance”
Now all I have left to do is search all the registers I can find on the internet, and try to work out what a site of Space Significance really is.