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Record Aboriginal sites

Aboriginal sites found in New South Wales can be recorded and documented in the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System.

The Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS) contains records of Aboriginal Places and objects, referred to as Aboriginal sites.

There are 3 ways Aboriginal sites can be recorded in AHIMS:

  1. mobile phone app
  2. desktop platform (quarantine station)
  3. PDF form.

We prefer information to be submitted using options 1 or 2.

These recording formats meet professional standards for archaeological records of sites. They also respect the rights of Aboriginal people to control their information within AHIMS. Other recording forms and formats will not be accepted.

To maintain information standards and security, there is no direct link between these recording methods and AHIMS.

Site cards are used to record Aboriginal sites in NSW. Before site cards and records are included in AHIMS they are reviewed by Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) staff.

Currently, Aboriginal sites are recorded by heritage professionals in collaboration with local Aboriginal communities and/or DPC staff.

Download the Guide to Completing the AHIMS Site Recording Form explains the structure of the form and how to record items such as site location, recorder information, context, contents and restrictions.

This guide explains the structure of the Aboriginal site recording form and the information required to record an Aboriginal site using the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System

How to record for AHIMS

The AHIMS site recording mobile app is a free download. It has been developed by Heritage NSW to make site recording consistent and easier. It also enables us to update AHIMS more efficiently and improve the accuracy of data.

When you use the mobile app to record site information it will automatically generate a site card for the site details you have entered. You will then be identified as a 'recorder' in AHIMS. Recorders can also export data for desktop mapping systems.

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All sites submitted to AHIMS via the mobile app are quarantined in the AHIMS Quarantine Station before uploaded to AHIMS.

You can access the quarantine station to view and download site cards you have have recorded in the field. As well, you can submit Aboriginal Site Impact Recording forms for sites that have been impacted as part of archaeological investigations and AHIPs.

You can also import extensive searches obtained in AHIMS. These imported records can be viewed in the mobile app and used in the field to locate sites previously recorded in AHIMS.

If you can't access the mobile app or quarantine station to record a site, you can use the AHIMS Aboriginal Site Recording Form.

The Guide to Completing the AHIMS Site Recording Form explains the structure of the form and how to record items such as site location, recorder information, context, contents and restrictions.

You can also use the Aboriginal Site Impact Recording Form  to update information about a site recorded in AHIMS. Updates help us maintain current and accurate information about the condition of all registered AHIMS sites across NSW. This form must be completed after authorised impacts to AHIMS sites occur. Authorised impacts are those indicated under Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permits.

In cases where a recorded Aboriginal Site has been impacted by the occurrence of natural events such as wildfires and floods please use the Natural and Unauthorised Impact Assessment Form. This form can also be used to record accidental or unauthorised impacts.

This form only allows for identification of Aboriginal cultural heritage that is currently recorded in the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management Systems database (AHIMS). New sites must be recorded using the standard Aboriginal Site Recording Form. Condition reporting includes:

  • Identifying whether Aboriginal cultural heritage has been lost or harmed, to what degree it has been harmed and whether it is still at immediate, short or long-term risk, and
  • Identifying immediate, short and long-term actions that can be taken to protect and manage the Aboriginal cultural heritage recorded during these surveys.

Send completed forms to the Heritage Information Management Team: ahims@environment.nsw.gov.au.