Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council extends the boundaries of two Registered Aboriginal Parties

On 1 July 2021 the geographic areas of two Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) in Victoria—Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BLCAC) and the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (WWCHAC)—were substantially increased.

This comes following a decision under section 155 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (VAHC). The VAHC has statutory responsibility for the appointment of RAPs and any alterations to their geographic boundaries. The VAHC had indicated its intention to increase the RAP boundaries earlier in June and, under the Act, the formalisation of this decision was dependent on a consent to the VAHC’s proposal by each RAP, which was granted. BLCAC and WWCHAC had been in discussions for many years and had approached the VAHC to develop a proposal regarding each of their boundaries. The new boundaries are based on the recognition of the Birrarung (Yarra River) and the waters flowing into it as the traditional Country of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People and the traditional Country of the Bunurong as defined by the waters that flow into Port Phillip Bay. WWCHAC is thus now recognised as the Traditional Owners of the Melbourne CBD, and BLCAC’s area now extends to the area west of the Werribee River. RAPs have statutory authority for the protection and management of cultural heritage within their prescribed geographic region.

Further information about the Council’s decision can be found here: Traditional Owners for Melbourne CBD | Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council and Traditional Owners announced | Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council.