Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Committee

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Committee is established under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 to undertake a range of functions, including providing recommendations in relation to approvals sought under the Act.
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The Committee has 11 members, with Aboriginal male and female co-chairs, and majority Aboriginal representation


Ms Irene Stainton AO (Co-Chairperson) 
Term of appointment – November 2023 – September 2024 
Irene is a highly respected Nyoongar Elder with over 30 years of experience in the public sector, having previously served as Registrar of Aboriginal Sites and Chairperson of the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee, in addition to other advisory positions at State and national levels. Irene is a past member of the National Museum of Australia’s Indigenous Reference Group, a former Trustee of the Western Australia Museum and the former Chairperson of the Western Australia Museum’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee. Irene is a past finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards, was awarded the Zonta 2018 Woman of Achievement Awardwas inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame in 2019, was a finalist in the 2019 Western Australian of the Year Awards and is a Fellow of the Western Australia Museum. Irene has extensive knowledge and experience in heritage and culture and is Chairperson of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee of the National Trust of Western Australia.

Hon Ken Wyatt AM JP
Term of appointment – November 2023 – June 2025
Former Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken is a highly respected Nyoongar, Yamatji and Wongi man. He was the first Aboriginal Member of the House of Representatives in 2010 and during his 12 years in Parliament, served as Australia’s Assistant Minister for Health, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health. Before entering politics, Ken worked in the fields of health and education in Western Australia and New South Wales. He was awarded the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 1996 for his contribution to the wider community in training and mentoring young people and was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal in 2000 for his efforts and contribution to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society in education and health. Ken is a director for Beyond Blue, The Fathering Project and Swan Districts Football Club and a former Executive Director of the Aboriginal Lands Trust.

Dr Mark Bin Bakar
Term of appointment – November 2023 – September 2024
Mark is a proud Lunga Kitja man from the Kimberley, whose mother was a Stolen Generation woman. As an advocate for Aboriginal culture and heritage, he is committed to making a difference for the Western Australian community, in particular for his Aboriginal community. Mark is an experienced Board Director and accomplished singer songwriter known for his success in the arts and media industries. He is passionate about truth telling, empowerment of Aboriginal people and transparency within the Aboriginal sector. In 2007, Mark was named the NAIDOC Person of the Year and Western Australia’s Australian of the Year in 2008. 

Ms Merle Carter 
Term of appointment – November 2023 – September 2024
A senior Cultural Woman of the Miriuwong Gajerrong people and the Bunuba people, Merle is also the Chairwoman of the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre and a board member of the Kimberley Land Council and Aarnja. 

Mr Graham Castledine
Term of appointment – November 2023 – September 2024
Graham was admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1987. Since then, he has practiced in a variety of areas including administrative law, local government and town planning, environmental law, native title, and Aboriginal heritage issues. Graham was recently ranked native title lawyer of the year (Perth) by Best Lawyers independent rating agency. Graham became an accredited mediator in 2005. He is a member of the Resolution Institute and the Alternative Dispute Resolution committee of the Law Society. Graham is also accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System and is listed in Doyles Guide as a leading mediator in WA. In 2007, Graham was the inaugural winner of the Attorney General’s Community Service Law Award in recognition of his outstanding pro bono service to the Western Australian community.

Dr Debbie Fletcher
Term of appointment – November 2023 – September 2024
Debbie has held numerous senior positions in State and Commonwealth governments over the last 30 years in the fields of native title, Aboriginal affairs and land access and holds a PhD in history and anthropology. Currently working as a consultant, Debbie was most recently employed by the WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet as Special Advisor, Native Title and, in this role, worked with the team drafting the ACH Act and facilitated several consultation workshops led by the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage.

Ms Belinda Moharich
Term of appointment – November 2023 – September 2024
Belinda is a planning and environment lawyer with dual qualifications in law and town planning. During her career, she has worked as a lawyer in private practice and for the State Government, and as a decision-maker on Tribunals and the Western Australian Planning Commission. In 2003 she was appointed as the Principal Registrar of the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal (TPAT), where she also sat as a Senior Member. In 2005 she was appointed as one of the inaugural members of the State Administrative Tribunal (WA) (SAT). In 2019, she was appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Western Australian Planning Commission, a position she held until July 2020.  

Mr Kevin Walley
Term of appointment – November 2023 – September 2024
Kevin is a Wajarri and Nyangamada man and a qualified conservation land manager. With Aboriginal cultural heritage expertise and experience managing a pastoral station, Kevin was the first Aboriginal Interest member appointed to the State Government’s Pastoral Lands Board and has experience leading Aboriginal corporations.

Mr Jonathon Griffin
Term of appointment – November 2023 – June 2025
A proud descendant of the Wiilman and Goreng people from Noongar Boodjar, Jonathon is an experienced development manager, professional footballer and a strong advocate of creating opportunities for Aboriginal people across the construction industry. 

Ms Karen Oborn
Term of appointment – November 2023 – June 2025
Karen is a Social Scientist with post graduate qualifications in Adult Education and Environmental Management, and experience working in local government, project management and the research sector. Karen is the Director of Infrastructure and Development Services at the Shire of Waroona, is a member of the Western Australian Local Government Association Reconciliation Network Group and holds a voluntary Board position as Treasurer and Member for the North Midlands Project. 

Mr Denzyl Moncrieff
Term of appointment – November 2023 – June 2025
Denzyl is a Yamatji-Nyoongar man with a natural curiosity in nature that led him to become the first Indigenous male to complete a Bachelor of Science in Applied Geology at Curtin University. Denzyl is a Senior Advisor - Land Access and Heritage for an exploration and mining company and a member of the Advisory Committee for Curtin’s School of Earth and Planet Sciences.

Meeting dates

The Committee is scheduled to meet on the following dates. 

Meeting no.ACH Committee Meeting Date (Tuesday)
121 November 2023
212 December 2023
330 January 2024
413 February 2024
527 February 2024
612 March 2024
726 March 2024
89 April 2024
923 April 2024
1014 May 2024
1128 May 2024
1211 June 2024
1325 June 2024
149 July 2024
1523 July 2024
1613 August 2024
1727 August 2024
1810 September 2024
1924 September 2024
208 October 2024
2122 October 2024
2212 November 2024
2326 November 2024
2410 December 2024


If you require further information about the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Committee, please email achcommittee@dplh.wa.gov.au.