Gulaga Dancers

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC) advises the Minister on matters relating to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in NSW.


During National Reconciliation Week, we recognise and celebrate the oldest living culture in the world. Through our own collaborative work with Indigenous communities, we strive for a more equitable, respectful and fully reconciled country. We are all In This Together and we all have a role to play when comes to reconciliation.

          - Aboriginal Cultural heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC), Heritage Council of NSW and Heritage NSW.


 

Role of the Committee

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC) was established in 2006 under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

ACHAC provides advice on Aboriginal cultural heritage issues, including identification, assessment and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage, heritage impact permit processes, management plans and legislative reform.

Committee Vision

That Aboriginal peoples Country, culture, physical and spiritual connection to their land and waters is recognised, cared for and respected by all people, today and in the future.

Committee Targets

  • To increase participation of Aboriginal people in management and protection of Country cultural heritage, including joint management of national parks and protection of Aboriginal biodiversity and biological resources and spiritual values in relation to land and water.
  • To develop policies to support Aboriginal land owners and land managers to manage their lands for socio-economic, cultural and environmental outcomes.

Committee Membership

The Committee consists of 13 members appointed by the Minister, and one ex-officio member from Heritage NSW. The ex-officio member is a non-voting member of the Committee.

Committee members have vast and diverse knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture and heritage. This knowledge is unique because it comes from their own experiences of working on Country in their local communities. Membership reflects the diversity of the Aboriginal population of NSW and achieves a gender balance.  Membership includes:

  • Nominee of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)
  • Nominee of the Heritage Council of NSW
  • Nominee of NTSCORP Limited
  • Members of Local Aboriginal Land Councils
  • Nominees of Aboriginal Elders Groups
  • Aboriginal owners listed on the register under theAboriginal Land Rights Act 1983
  • Registered Native Title Claimants.

Current Committee Members

Ms Glenda Chalker        Chair

Mr Jason Wilson             Deputy Chair

Mr Warren Clark             Member

Ms Leeanne Hampton  Member

Ms Sharon Hodgetts     Member

Dr Raymond Kelly          Member

Ms Jodie Lawler              Member

Ms Helen Riley                Member

Ms Natalie Rotumah     Member

Ms Iris White                   Member

Mr James Williams        Member

Mr Yuseph Deen            Alternate Member

Clr Dallas Donnelly        Observer

Glenda is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(ii) and (iii) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Glenda is one of the original members appointed to ACHAC when it was established in 2006.

Glenda is a Dharawal woman of the Cubbitch Barta Clan and a descendant of the survivors of the 1816 massacre who moved to John Macarthur’s property at Camden. Glenda is passionate about cultural heritage and works on heritage matters every day. She is party to a registered Indigenous Land Use Agreement and is part of the Cubbitch Barta Native Title Claimant process.

Glenda is a member of the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council and has served as Treasurer, Chairperson and is currently Deputy Chairperson. Glenda is also a member of the National Parks and Wildlife Sydney Metropolitan South Regional Advisory Committee, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Advisory Committee and Aboriginal Advisory Group and is the Chairperson of the Cubbitch Barta Native Title Claimants Aboriginal Organisation.

Glenda’s roles on these committees, participation in Aboriginal archaeological fieldwork and her status in her community, means she understands the stories and material culture of the Dharawal area. She knows the importance of heritage to Aboriginal people and future generations, the potential impacts – including the threats to cultural heritage conservation faced by the increasing residential development.

Glenda’s goal is to see stand-alone Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation developed that includes improved processes for speaking for Country and protecting Aboriginal heritage.

DEPUTY CHAIR

Mr Wilson is appointed to ACHAC under Section 2 (d)(ii) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 as a Registered Native Title Claimant. Jason is a Gomilaroi man from Walgett and has been working with heritage related organisations for the last 20 years, including working with Aboriginal communities in conservation roles under Local Land Services, Department of Environment & Energy, and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office. Jason has also worked with the Murray Darling Basin Authority on the Basin Community Committee and Northern Basin Advisory Committee, and as Deputy Chair of Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations. Jason has cultural connections to Lightning Ridge, Collarenebri, Brewarrina and Goodooga areas.

MEMBER

Mr Warren Clark is appointed to ACHAC under Section 2(d)(i) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 as a Registered Native Title Claimant. Warren is a Barkindji man from Mildura. He has gained extensive Aboriginal cultural heritage management experience working with Mungo National Park for over 20 years identifying significant Aboriginal sites and artefacts for protection.

Warren also spent 12 years managing the Mungo Joint Management Advisory Committee, working with Elders and scientists to preserve Aboriginal sites in the wider Wilandra Lakes World Heritage Area. Warren worked closely with Jim Bowler, and others responsible for finding the remains and for the Repatriation of Mungo Lady.

Before this, Warren held various positions working in the NSW State Rail Authority for 25 years, as well as Chairing the Ivanhoe Local Aboriginal Land Council and other Committees in the 1990s. 

Ms Lawler is appointed to ACHAC under Section 2(d)(iii) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 as an Aboriginal owner listed on the register under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983.

Joedie is a Biripi woman from Mid north coast, Taree and is currently the CEO of Purfleet/Taree Local Aboriginal Land Council. Joedie spent 20 years working with the NSW Government, identifying, mapping, repatriating and protecting Aboriginal artefacts, remains and objects with many Aboriginal communities across the state. She has also managed projects around Aboriginal environmental business development across NSW.

Further to this, Joedie has worked with various Aboriginal communities around the care and protection of children in and out of care. She spent several years in the Northern Territory working within Aboriginal communities with the Aboriginal Investment Group.

Joedie recently returned home to Biripi land to share her knowledge and improve outcomes for her community. She is also Director of Saltwater Freshwater Alliance. Joedie is passionate about sharing and maintaining cultural knowledge and shares her knowledge around traditional practices.

MEMBER

Iris is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2 (d) (iii) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Iris is a Yuin woman from the South Coast particularly connected to those areas known as Gulaga and Biamanga. She also has association with the Ngarigo on the Monaro Plains.

Iris has extensive experience in cultural heritage matters in her community and has represented community interests at a local, state and national level. Iris is a board member and chairperson of the Gulaga National Park Joint Board of Management, a member on the Southern Rivers CMA Board and the Regional Communities Consultative Council, and Director of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT Pty Ltd.

Through her role on these committees and her status in her community, Iris has negotiated for the hand-back and joint management of significant Aboriginal landmarks and is passionate about improving the integrity and processes for protecting Aboriginal culture. 

Iris sees culture being compromised every day. As a member of ACHAC, Iris would like to influence change for more productive and positive outcomes for Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Sharon is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(iii)of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Sharon is a Wiradjuri-Wangaaypuwan woman, born at Gilgandra and raised on farming country at Gulgong with family connections to the Dubbo, Wellington and Nyngan area. Sharon is also heavily involved in the Central Coast and Hunter regions’ Aboriginal community where she has lived for over 35 years. Sharon is a member of Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and was their Senior Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Officer before moving to Forestry Corporation of NSW as the Aboriginal Partnerships Liaison for the Hunter-Central Coast. Sharon has many years training and working in Aboriginal Archaeology and is a current student at the University of New England Armidale. Sharon is also a member of the Australian Archaeological Association, Australian Indigenous Archaeologists Association, National Parks and Wildlife Service- Hunter Central Coast Regional Advisory Committee, the Australian Rock Art Research Association and has been invited onto the ICOMOS National Scientific Committee on Rock Art Australia and Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) Indigenous Liaison Officer.

Sharon is passionate about Aboriginal heritage and culture. She ensures there are opportunities to practice culture, teaching and sharing widely particularly with her children and grandchildren. Through her roles and memberships, she is well respected for her knowledge of stories, material culture and the impacts and threats to Aboriginal cultural heritage currently posed through mining and other development.

James is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(i) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

James is a Wiradjuri man from Orange. He is a member of the Gunni Thakun Cultural Association, National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Committee – Western Rivers Region, Orange and Bathurst Local Land Council and Wiradjuri Elders Group. James currently works in providing family and community services in his local area.

Through his roles and work across different committees and status in his community, James has an acute understanding of social issues for Aboriginal families and young people. James understands the effects of dislocation and destruction of cultural heritage and is aware of the need and importance of stories, language, songs and material culture of the area for Aboriginal people to strengthen their identity and culture.

James would like to see as part of his role on ACHAC more holistic ways for Aboriginal cultural heritage to be recognised and protected.

Ray is a member of ACHAC, nominated by the Heritage Council of New South Wales, and appointed under Section 2(b) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Ray is a Dunghutti man from the mid north coast of NSW. He was awarded a doctorate from the University of Newcastle for his study of Aboriginal languages. He is a member of the Heritage Council of New South Wales and has been involved in Aboriginal community development and cultural heritage for over thirty years.

Through his career, research and status in his community, Ray has a deep understanding of stories, language, songs and their importance, along with other expressions of Aboriginal culture to Aboriginal people. Dr Kelly reflected “it is heritage, then culture, not the other way around. Heritage comes before culture. I’m here to continue the conversation and try to sort out how to, where to and why”.

Natalie is a member of ACHAC, nominated by the Native Title Services Corporation Limited (NTSCORP), and appointed under Section 2(c) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Natalie is a Bundjalung woman originally from South Tweed Heads and has worked for NTSCorp since 2002. Prior to that, Natalie served as a NSW Aboriginal Land Council Regional Chair and representative on the NSW Natural Resources Advisory Committee and is currently Deputy Chair of the NSW Aboriginal Fishing Advisory Council.

Through her career, and as a leader in committees across NSW, Natalie has a broad appreciation of Aboriginal cultural issues across the state and promotes the integral link between the environment and culture for Aboriginal people.

Leeanne is a member of ACHAC, nominated by an Aboriginal Elders Group, and is appointed under Section 2(d)(i) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Leeanne is a Ngiyampaa/Wiradjuri woman in West Wyalong with family connections to the Ngiyampaa people from Cobar and surrounds. Leeanne is the State Councillor with NSWALC and a member of the Winangkirri Aboriginal Corporation.

 

Through Leeanne’s previous role as CEO of the WWLALC, she has represented the Wiradjuri region several times in discussions and recommendations for amendments to state legislation regarding Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW.

Leanne has also been involved in major natural resource management projects for her local area. She understands and has seen the results of socio-economic impacts to natural resource management and Aboriginal cultural heritage. Leanne has in recent times taken the initiative to address these through better engagement with the Aboriginal community and working with those attempting to impact Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Helen is a member of ACHAC, appointed under Section 2(d)(ii) and (iii) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Helen is a Wiradjuri woman of the Wiradjuri clan. Her family has been involved with local community since the early 1920s. She is passionate about cultural heritage and works on heritage matters every day.

Helen is a founder of the Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation where she currently serves as Treasurer among other distinctive roles within the corporation. She is a volunteer of the National Parks rock art programs and is a member in the Aboriginal Wiradjuri Council of Elders. Helen sits on the committee of the Nepean working party which covers Aboriginal health.

Her roles on these committees, and participation in Aboriginal culture and fieldwork, along with her status in the community, indicates she understands the stories and material culture of Wiradjuri country. She knows and understands the importance of heritage to Aboriginal people, their future generations, and the potential impacts.

Helen’s goal is to see Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation developed that included improved processes of speaking for Country and protecting Aboriginal heritage and culture through the land and the people.

Alternate Member (NSW Aboriginal Land Council)

Mr Deen is appointed to ACHAC under Schedule 9 Section 6 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 as an alternate member representing NSW Local Aboriginal Land Council. Yuseph is a descendant of the Wuthathi peoples of Cape York with ancestral connections to the lower Western Islands of the Torres Strait. Yuseph is currently Executive Director, Network Delivery at the NSWALC where he also leads the Yarpa Indigenous Business and Employment Hub. Yuseph also served as Director for the Southern zone, overseeing support for a network of 34 Local Aboriginal Land Councils. With a background in economics, Yuseph has worked in a wide range of sectors including Land Rights, Native Title, cultural and natural resource management, social justice, economic development and community development.

 

Observer (NSW Aboriginal Land Council)

Clr Dallas Donnelly is appointed to ACHAC under Section 2(a) of Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Dallas is the current elected NSWALC Councillor for the North Coast Region and has been appointed to ACHAC as the NSWALC representative.

He is a former employee of NP&WS and spent 5 years as Assistant Sites Registrar/ Trainee Ranger. In 1984 he was founding Secretary of Grafton Ngerrie LALC and operated as part time Aboriginal Sites Officer.

He was former Branch Manager for North Coast and the Northern Tablelands Regions and has spent many years providing administration in various roles such as Co-ordinator and CEO for Grafton Ngerrie, Baryulgil Square and Ngulingah LALCS. He also represented the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs on the “NSW Ministerial Task Force on Aboriginal Heritage and Culture” which was released in 1989.

Dallas has worked with and associated with a number of Elders on the North Coast over the years and has learnt a lot about Aboriginal Sites, lore and traditional culture. He is culturally connected to both the Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr peoples.

 

How often does the Committee meet?

The Committee meets bi-monthly and may, by resolution, hold one regional meeting per year. Ordinary meetings are otherwise held in the Sydney metropolitan region.

Who Administers the Committee?

Heritage NSW provides secretariat services, strategic and logistical support to the Committee.

On behalf of Heritage NSW, the Director will attend Committee meetings in a non-voting advisory and support capacity.

For further information and advice about the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee please contact the Committee Secretariat:

HeritageCouncil.Secretariat@environment.nsw.gov.au