Seeking and gaining permission from the appropriate individuals or groups is by far the most important aspect of dealing with or approaching Aboriginal people for information. Dealing with Aboriginal communities should always be through appropriate channels. Be aware that in urban areas cultural values and protocols still exist.
For Aboriginal people, including those living in urbanised areas of Australia, land is central to their identities, their heritage and their spiritual existence. The significance of land is intimately bound in the spirituality surrounding the origins of landscapes and the animals, plants and people that inhabit them.
Aboriginal people welcome the opportunity to tell visitors about their land and their culture. Please enjoy your experience by using our guidelines to help you to be a more informed and sensitive visitor.
Contact Aboriginal Affairs Victoria for assistance with gaining permission from local indigenous peoples to gather information or conduct events and activities.
It is also important to be aware that known and undetected Aboriginal sites are protected by State and Federal Acts. Anyone who wilfully disturbs or destroys Aboriginal sites can be fined AUD$10,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 5 years.
Enhance your understanding of protocols in Aboriginal communities by learning about the key elements: relationship, responsibility and respect.
Get advice on how to respect Aboriginal culture, including traditional knowledge, elders, guides, and sites of significance in Victoria.