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aboriginalheritagecouncil.vic.gov.au

Secret or Sacred Objects

We work with Traditional Owners to ensure the safe return of their secret or sacred objects, items important to cultural strength and tradition.

What are secret or sacred objects

An Aboriginal object is one that is of cultural heritage significance to Aboriginal people generally or a particular group or community of Aboriginal people in Victoria.

Secret or sacred objects are secret or sacred according to Aboriginal tradition. Aboriginal Traditional Owners are the people who can say what Aboriginal objects are secret or sacred.

Secret or sacred objects include items:

  • associated with a traditional burial
  • created for ceremonial, religious or burial purposes
  • used or seen only by certain people
  • sourced from or containing materials that only certain members of the community can use or see

Objects that are made for sale are not secret or sacred items.

"Secret and sacred objects are a big part of who we are. They carry stories that shape us, and we, and future generations, in turn shape them. They need to be with their rightful custodians so they can keep carrying our stories and our connection with them."

Jennifer Beer
Council member

Returning objects to Traditional Owners

Legal ownership of secret or sacred objects is held by the Traditional Owners. Anyone who has a secret or sacred object should report it to us:

Phone: 03 7004 7209

Email: ancestral.remains.unit@dpc.vic.gov.au

Reviewed 07 June 2019

Aboriginal Heritage Council