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35,000 reasons to celebrate Aboriginal cultural heritage

Friday, 05 July 2013
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jeanette Powell today announced the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register has reached an impressive 35,000 registrations of Aboriginal places and objects.
The Register includes artefacts such as axes, grinding stones, scarred trees and shell middens, along with rock art, burial sites and significant spiritual sites.
Mrs Powell marked the occasion at a significant Dja Dja Wurrung site in Bendigo today where she said this outstanding number of items is an excellent record of Victoria’s rich and diverse Aboriginal cultural heritage.  
“Only five per cent of the state has been investigated to date and reaching this significant milestone gives us all reason to celebrate,” Mrs Powell said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is strongly committed to the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage, and this important achievement is a reflection of the partnership between Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs), Traditional Owners and the Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria.”
The current Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register, which records details of all known Aboriginal places, private collections of Aboriginal objects and all Aboriginal human remains was established by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (the Act).  
The Act provides the framework for recognising, protecting and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria.  
“This year, more than 600 places and objects have been registered so far. This provides strong recognition that Victorian Aboriginal people are the primary guardians, keepers, and knowledge holders of their heritage,” Mrs Powell said.
“The Coalition Government’s recent responses to the review of the Act and Parliamentary Inquiry into the Establishment and Effectiveness of RAPs, further strengthens the Coalition Government’s strong commitment to the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.”
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