Ngarluma Heritage

“If you can’t look after country … all the language mean nothing. All the Law be nothing. We be buggered then… land finishes then. Government might take land back and there be no story there. No more. Land got language and got culture and everything”. Woodley King (690-AD/17)

Under the Native Title Act and traditional ownership, the Ngarluma People are obliged to care for their Country and to preserve Ngarluma heritage and culture. The NAC is responsible for upholding and managing these objectives, and acts as a legal entity which conducts the affairs of the Ngarluma native title holders.

The NAC liaises and makes agreements with the State and all levels and types of government departments, as well as explorers, miners, property developers and various businesses. These agreements include the protection of Ngarluma native title rights, heritage, culture and the environment, while accommodating the rights of tenement holders and stakeholders on Ngarluma Country.

For those seeking to undertake any activities on Ngarluma land, the NAC provides heritage surveys (including anthropological, ethnographical and archaeological) which comply with the requirements of the Aboriginal Heritage Act (WA).

Ngarluma Elders

The Ngarluma Elders are a vital part of the Ngarluma community and of the daily management of the NAC. The Elders provide advice on native title and heritage matters, go on country to assist survey teams, and are crucial in the preservation of language and culture. All the important Ngarluma activities and concerns are always put to the Elders for their judgment and advice, and their recommendations are given considerable weight.

Heritage: “Something inherited from the past”

Ngarluma provides our own Aboriginal cultural heritage management services within the Ngarluma boundary.

Our Heritage Team organise:

  • Ngarluma Heritage surveys
  • Cultural Heritage Management
  • Negotiations and Facilitation
  • Desktop studies
  • Archaeological excavations
  • Cultural Heritage Awareness
  • The conduct of Cultural Heritage Impact Assessments
  • Production of Educational Material

By working with the Traditional owners and Ngarluma Native Title Prescribed Body Corporate, our Traditional owners have greater control of their cultural heritage.

Please contact the Heritage Department for any enquiries.

Mining, Commercial and Ground Disturbing

NAC’s Role

The NAC is the legal body to conduct business for the Ngarluma people regarding all future acts and heritage matters, which are likely to impact upon Ngarluma lands.

Our responsibility is to manage the Native Title rights and interests, determined to exist by the Federal Court of Australia in Daniel vs Western Australia [2003 FCA 666].

We offer companies wishing to deal in the area with a professional and efficient point of contact for Native Title matters.

The most efficient way of engaging NAC for future acts or heritage clearances is through our Standardised Heritage Agreement.

These agreements can be tailored to a wide variety of mining and industry companies from the Government service providers to mining and private industry.

It is a condition of NAC that no ground disturbing work is to occur until a formal agreement process has begun.

We actively encourage a transparent and consultative process of dialogue, with mining, government and industry.

Future Acts

The Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation provides legal representation to the Ngarluma community on Future Act matters.

A Future Act is a term used in the Native Title Act 1993 to describe a proposed activity that may affect Native Title. Future Acts give the Ngarluma people the right to be informed and consulted about development activities that affect our country. Since our formal inception in 2007 the NAC board and legal team have negotiated and entered into numerous heritage agreements with companies that have operations on Ngarluma land.

It is essential that companies and government organisations contact NAC if any of their preposed developments involve ground-disturbing activities.

If you have a Future Act enquiry please contact:

Melissa Egan
Email: lawyer@ngarluma.com.au
Telephone: (08) 91821351

Land Use Agreements

An ILUA is a voluntary agreement between a Native Title group and another party, about the use and management of land and waters.

Since NAC has been operating we have entered numerous ILUA’s with Industry partners and Government agencies.

Heritage Protocols

Heritage is one of the many activities conducted by NAC. We are actively advising Mining and Government bodies on where heritage is applicable on different areas of our country.

It is vitally important for any mining and industry partner to consult the NAC when undertaking ground-disturbing or heritage clearances on Ngarluma country.

If NAC is not engaged and a Section 18 (Application to disturb and Aboriginal Site) is applied for, the ACMC (Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee) may not approve the application.

ABORIGINAL HERITAGE SURVEY METHODOLOGY

Following are descriptions of the different industry standard Aboriginal heritage survey methodologies. Each Aboriginal heritage survey methodology gives a different result for a different purpose and they are designed to be time/cost effective for a proposed development site. The proponent should ensure that it commissions the best fit Aboriginal heritage survey methodology to suit its purpose. It should be noted that some Aboriginal groups have their preference for a particular Aboriginal heritage survey methodology particularly if the Aboriginal group is involved in a native title negotiation.

DESKTOP SURVEY

A Desktop Survey is carried out to identify any known or potential Aboriginal heritage issues that may affect the proposed development. Furthermore, this will inform what additional research and/or consultation will be required to meet the requirements of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. The Desktop Survey will establish whether previous Aboriginal heritage surveys have been undertaken which encompass, or may be otherwise relevant for, the Project Area; whether there are any Aboriginal sites have been previously recorded in the Project Area; and key Aboriginal
organisations, groups and individuals who should be notified of the intent to develop the Project Area.

WORK PROGRAM CLEARANCE SURVEY

An Aboriginal heritage survey using a Work Program Clearance methodology occurs where the proponent wants to ensure that particular ground disturbing activity such as a single drill hole, is cleared of any Aboriginal heritage values. The process is relatively simple and allows for the Aboriginal people to determine if the Work Program is cleared or not cleared for that purpose only. If a particular Work Program is not cleared during the actual Aboriginal heritage survey, the proponent will be afforded the opportunity to move its particular ground disturbing activity to a new location to determine if the alternative is cleared or not cleared. The proponent will need to provide exact GPS coordinates of the proposed Work Program with a map and a description of the Work Program itself. No Aboriginal heritage information is provided to the developer using this methodology and the resultant report cannot be used in a Section 18 Notice under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

WORK AREA CLEARANCE SURVEY

An Aboriginal heritage survey using a Work Area Clearance methodology occurs where the proponent wants to ensure that a number of ground disturbing activities such as the construction of an access track and a drill hole within an area of land, is cleared of any Aboriginal heritage values. The process is relatively simple and allows for the Aboriginal people to determine if the Work Area is cleared or not cleared for a number of purposes. If a particular Work Area is not cleared during the actual Aboriginal heritage survey, the proponent will be afforded the opportunity to move its particular ground disturbing activity to a new location to determine if the alternative is cleared or not cleared. The proponent will need to provide exact GPS coordinates of the proposed Work Area with a map and a description of
the Work Area and the proposed ground disturbing activities. No Aboriginal heritage information is provided to the developer using this proponent and the resultant report cannot be used in a Section 18 Notice under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

SITE AVOIDANCE SURVEY

An Aboriginal heritage survey using a Site Avoidance methodology occurs where the proponent is more certain about the future use of the proposed development and wants to ensure that the spatial boundary of any Aboriginal sites within the proposed development site are clearly defined. The process is more time/cost intensive and allows for the Aboriginal people to spatially define an Aboriginal site, but does not allow for it to be recorded in detail.
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The proponent will need to provide exact GPS coordinates of the proposed development site with a map and a description of the proposed works. Limited Aboriginal heritage information is recorded and is provided to the developer using this methodology but the resultant report cannot be used in a Section 18 Notice under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

SITE IDENTIFICATION SURVEY

An Aboriginal heritage survey using a Site Identification methodology occurs where the proponent is certain about the future use of the proposed development and wants to ensure that the spatial boundary and archaeological and cultural significance of any Aboriginal sites within the proposed development site are clearly defined and recorded. The process is more time/cost intensive and allows for the Aboriginal people to spatially define an Aboriginal site as well as its scientific and cultural significance to the Aboriginal people. The proponent will need to provide exact GPS coordinates of the proposed development site with a map and a description of the proposed works. All relevant Aboriginal heritage information is recorded and is provided to the proponent using this methodology and the resultant report is designed to meet the necessary standards be used in a
Section 18 Notice under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE ASSESSMENT

A Cultural Significance Assessment needs to occur as part of an Aboriginal heritage survey using a Site Identification methodology only. The Department of Indigenous Affairs requires information on the scientific and cultural significance of an Aboriginal site to the Aboriginal people to enable them to make a determination under Section 39 and 5 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.as part of any Section 18 Notice lodged by the proponent to use the land containing an Aboriginal site for a particular purpose. A Cultural Significance Assessment may be filmed to ensure that the process is transparent and that the views of the Aboriginal people and the visual amenity of the Aboriginal site are captured for posterity.

NAC Heritage Department

For all cultural heritage management guidance please contact our Heritage Department on (08) 91821351.
Richard Walker – Heritage Manager
Belinda Churnside – Heritage Officer

Download:

NAC Budget Request Form