DLPH to increase presence ahead of WA’s Aboriginal cultural heritage laws

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenCountryman
New regional directors are being sought in preparation of Aboriginal cultural heritage laws.
Camera IconNew regional directors are being sought in preparation of Aboriginal cultural heritage laws. Credit: Totajla/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is increasing its presence in WA’s agricultural heartlands, with recruitment underway to fill five lucrative new regional director roles.

The full-time positions, which pay up to $152,000 a year, will be based in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid West-Gascoyne, Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern-Wheatbelt-South West regions.

A DPLH spokeswoman told Countryman the new roles were created in preparation for the implementation of WA’s new Aboriginal cultural heritage laws, which was scheduled for July 1.

“The roles will be based in key regional centres and will primarily focus on developing relationships and working with a range of stakeholders, particularly regional Aboriginal organisations and people, to understand the requirements and opportunities of the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021,” the spokeswoman said.

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“The new laws empower Aboriginal people to make decisions on matters that may impact on their cultural heritage.

“It requires management plans to be negotiated and agreed, and the regional directors will play a key role in supporting Aboriginal people and proponents to understand the new laws.”

Funding for the new roles was allocated in the latest State Budget, with grants also offered to Aboriginal organisations who choose to take on a new regulatory role.

Regional directors will help organisations appointed as local Aboriginal cultural heritage services to access grants and bring proponents and Aboriginal groups together.

They will also be tasked with increasing awareness about the new laws and regulatory requirements and providing advice and support in the development of Aboriginal cultural heritage management plans.

“There are a number of other areas covered by the Act, such as protected areas, ancestral remains and secret or sacred objects, that these positions may also support,” the spokeswoman said.

DPLH is seeking applicants with “in-depth knowledge of current and emerging trends in Aboriginal cultural heritage” and a “strong understanding of business, financial and human resource management”.

Applications closed on February 13.

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