Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee

The Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMC) is established under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 to represent Aboriginal people on heritage matters.

About the ACMC

The role of the ACMC is to:

  • evaluate on behalf of the community the importance of places and objects alleged to be associated with Aboriginal persons
  • where appropriate, to record and preserve the traditional Aboriginal lore related to such places and objects
  • recommend to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Minister) places and objects which, in the opinion of the Committee, are, or have been, of special significance to persons of Aboriginal descent and should be preserved, acquired and managed by the Minister
  • advise the Minister on any question referred to the Committee, and generally on any matter related to the objects and purposes of this Act
  • perform the functions allocated to the Committee by this Act
  • advise the Minister when requested to do so as to the apportionment and application of moneys available for the administration of this Act.


Vanessa Kickett, Chairperson
Term of appointment - September 2011 - December 2021

Vanessa is a Whadjuk Noongar who grew up in the Midland area, she has extensive experience working in Native Title in the South West and North West regions. Vanessa is also involved with Heritage and Culture, Native Title and Aboriginal Engagement throughout the State. Vanessa has more than 15 years’ professional experience in Policy, Aboriginal Heritage, Contract management, Native Title and Strategic Engagement with Aboriginal communities, She is currently employed as the Manager, Aboriginal Heritage Approvals at the Water Corporation.

Merle Carter
Term of appointment - April 2016 - December 2021

A senior Cultural Woman of the Miriuwong Gajerrong people and the Bunuba people, Merle is also the Chairwoman of the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre and a board member of the Kimberley Land Council and Aarnja.

Patrick Churnside
Term of appointment - April 2016 - December 2021

Patrick is a Traditional Owner from the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Language Groups. He is also Chairperson of the Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation and was previously a Ngarluma representative on the Board of Directors for the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

Bruce Smith
Term of appointment - April 2016 - December 2021

Bruce is a tribal cultural man and significant Aboriginal leader. He is a former Chairman of the Ngaanyatjarra Council and the ATSIC Western Desert Regional Council and has experience of working across government in a range of positions.

Lindsay Dean
Term of appointment - April 2016 - December 2021

Lindsay was born and raised in the Great Southern (Minang) region and has a strong connection to his people and the land. Lindsay is currently chairperson of the Dreamtime committee which liaises between Lockyer Primary School and the Noongar community to provide positive education outcomes. Lindsay is also a member of the Western Australian Museum Albany Advisory Committee advising on Aboriginal issues as well as a member of the Albany Aboriginal Heritage Reference Group.

Dr Michael Slack
Term of appointment - March 2019 - December 2021

Dr Michael Slack is the Director of Scarp Archaeology, a Partner Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at James Cook University. He also serves as the current President of the Australian Archaeological Association (AAA).
Michael has qualifications in archaeology and in history from Sydney University (PhD), the Australian National University (MA), and University of New South Wales (BA hons). He has led many large-scale archaeological projects throughout Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales over the last 20 years.  In particular he has specialised in the Pilbara Region. Dr Slack is the author of many archaeological reports and academic papers.

Danielle Stefani
Term of appointment - December 2019 - December 2021

Danielle Stefani has worked for the Western Australian Government since 1990 and has 30 years of experience in land administration. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Anthropology and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning.  Danielle has held the position of Executive Officer for the Geographic Names Committee of Western Australia and Chairperson for the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping’s (ICSM) Permanent Committee for Place Names.

Joslyn Tass
Term of appointment - December 2019 - December 2021

Joslyn Tass is a Noongar woman with Traditional Owner connections to the Wagyl Kaip and South West Boojarah regions, she has worked in many positions delivering programs to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people over the past 25 years. Joslyn is committed to forming strong partnership with various agencies and providers to maintain a high level of service delivery and engagement for specific, sustainable and achievable health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal People.

Joslyn has held a recent leadership role with Nulsen Group - Outcare and currently is, Chairperson of the Department of Communities Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations Strategy Committee and Committee Member for the Institute of Indigenous Wellbeing and Sport’.

Ex-Officio members

Murray Dolling, Ex-Officio, Authorised Land Officer
Alec Coles, Ex-Officio, Western Australian Museum
Matt Darcey, Ex-Officio, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

Page last reviewed 24 August 2020
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