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Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Information System 

The ACH Information System will be a digital solution that enables the Aboriginal community to manage their information on Country. It will enable Aboriginal communities to capture a broad range cultural data in a manner that is: 

  • culturally appropriate
  • supports cultural heritage management
  • integrates with government systems to enable effective Aboriginal Cultural Heritage (ACH) processes
  • deliver significant improvements to Aboriginal communities in ACH protection and conservation. 

It aims to identify the key needs of Aboriginal communities in managing their cultural data and to provide a technical solution that enables Aboriginal communities to effectively manage that data as part of the wider Aboriginal Cultural Heritage (ACH) reform process.

What we heard

Following consultations on cultural heritage reforms in 2018, Aboriginal communities reported that they were not able to effectively manage their data through the current data system – Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS). 

The ACH Information System will replace AHIMS and will also support the delivery of:

  • Premier’s Priorities of Modern government: Providing accessible, affordable and world-class services
  • Closing the Gap outcomes including formal partnerships and shared decision making, transforming government organisations, and shared access to data and information
  • OCHRE
  • best practice principles such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Aboriginal Affairs NSW and Heritage NSW are currently progressing the research of a new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Information System (the system) for NSW. The system is a central element of the Aboriginal cultural heritage reforms and is intended to replace the AHIMS.

The new system will allow Aboriginal communities to effectively monitor and manage their cultural data and allow government and industry to work proactively with Aboriginal people.

How will the ACH Information System project work?

The project will have several distinct phases:

  • Discovery
  • Development
  • Assessment

Phase 1 – Discovery

The discovery phase will focus on building a better understanding of the problems associated with managing cultural data, engaging with users in the Aboriginal Community and developing insights.

Phase 2 – Development

Aboriginal Affairs NSW will engage technical experts to help build solutions into the ACH Information System based on feedback from stakeholders and also to test it with you. This is called an 'agile' methodology - where we try, test and learn in order to develop digital solutions quickly.

Between the phases of work, we will come back to the communities working on the project to test what has been developed and seek your advice on whether the system meets your needs.

Phase 3 – Assessment and Future Planning

In March 2023, Aboriginal Affairs NSW will report on the findings of the project and what the next steps will be in the development of the new system.

This will enable development to move to the next stage once the problem and the solutions are fully understood.

Expression of Interest (EOI) process

Please Note the EOI process is now closed.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) process was held for interested Aboriginal stakeholders to register their interest to participate in the development of the new system. 

The EOI process will provide opportunity for Aboriginal communities to be involved in the development of ACHIS, to help us understand the needs and experience your community has, and to ensure we include a diverse group of communities in the project.

We are currently working through the EOI submissions and will notify all applicants of the outcome of their submissions. We would like to thank everyone who submitted an EOI as well as organisations and individuals who participated in the online information sessions.

If you missed out on submitting an EOI we would still love to hear from you. We will also provide regular updates on the project back to interested stakeholders. There will be opportunities to participate in later stages as the ACH Information Sytem is developed and implemented.

Further information

Further information will be provided via the Aboriginal Affairs NSW website.

For all enquiries related to ACHIS, please contact the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Reforms team at achis@aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au.




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