Aboriginal sites

An Aboriginal site means any place to which the AHA applies by operation of Section 5 of the AHA.

Section 5 of the Act

According to section 5 of the Act, an Aboriginal site is:

(a) any place of importance and significance where persons of Aboriginal descent have, or appear to have, left any object, natural or artificial, used for, or made or adapted for use for, any purpose connected with the traditional cultural life of the Aboriginal people, past or present;

(b) any sacred, ritual or ceremonial site, which is of importance and special significance to persons of Aboriginal descent;

(c) any place which, in the opinion of the Committee, is or was associated with the Aboriginal people and which is of historical, anthropological, archaeological or ethnographical interest and should be preserved because of its importance and significance to the cultural heritage of the State;

(d) any place where objects to which this Act applies are traditionally stored, or to which, under the provisions of this Act, such objects have been taken or removed.

The Act specifies that the Registrar of Aboriginal Sites must maintain a Register of:

  • all protected areas
  • all Aboriginal cultural material
  • all other places and objects to which the Act applies.

You can search for information if you wish to access online or hardcopy information on Aboriginal sites and other heritage places.

If you wish to provide information about a possible Aboriginal site, you can report a site.

For more information regarding a site reassessment, contact the department.

Protected areas

Section 19 of the AHA makes provision for the declaration of Aboriginal sites that are of outstanding importance to be Protected Areas. These are gazetted areas of land with defined boundaries. Some Protected Areas contain a number of sites or are specific to one site only. Section 20 of the AHA also makes provision for the temporary (up to six months) declaration of a Protected Area.

There are currently 80 Protected Areas in Western Australia.

Page last reviewed 15 July 2020
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