As the State's peak strategic body on Aboriginal cultural heritage matters, the Council will provide advice to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, designate local Aboriginal cultural heritage services and approve permits and management plans.
The Council also has a role in promoting public awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal cultural heritage and the role of Aboriginal people in how their cultural heritage is managed and protected.
The new Council members are:
- Co-Chairperson Ms Irene Stainton – an Aboriginal cultural heritage practitioner with industry, government and consultancy experience and a current trustee for the WA Museum Boola Bardip.
- Co-chairperson Dr Mark Bin Bakar – an Aboriginal culture and heritage advocate, experienced Board Director and accomplished singer songwriter known for his success in the arts and media industries.
- Ms Merle Carter – Chairperson of the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, experienced Board member and Aboriginal corporation director.
- Mr Graham Castledine – a barrister, negotiator and mediator with significant experience in Aboriginal heritage, native title, environment and planning matters.
- Dr Debbie Fletcher – a former senior public servant with experience in native title matters, State agreements and land access.
- Ms Belinda Moharich – a lawyer with expertise in planning and environment law.
- Mr Kevin Walley – a qualified conservation land manager, with Aboriginal cultural heritage expertise and experience leading Aboriginal corporations.
- The seven members were selected from more than 70 nominations and have been appointed for an initial term of two years.
Formed under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021, the Council provides a modern framework for the recognition, protection, conservation and preservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage and recognises the fundamental importance of Aboriginal cultural heritage to Aboriginal people.