What is the Registered Aboriginal Party?
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 recognises Aboriginal people as the primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders of Aboriginal cultural heritage. At a local level, Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) are the voice of Aboriginal people in the management and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria. There can be more than one RAP for a given area. RAPs have a variety of responsibilities, including the evaluation of CHMP’s.
While the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 are highly proscriptive, the evaluation and approval of any CHMP by a RAP is a bipartisan negotiated process between the RAP and the heritage adviser (acting on behalf of the sponsor).
It is important to appreciate the authority that the RAP has in the CHMP process, but it is equally important for you to have heritage advisers who understand the extent of that authority, and how to work with the RAP to achieve your desired outcomes.