NSW calls for First Nations co-designers to plan cultural data management

By Melissa Coade

July 8, 2022

Ben Franklin
NSW Aboriginal Affairs minister Ben Franklin. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The NSW government is inviting expressions of interest to contribute to the pre-design stage of a new Aboriginal cultural heritage system.

Monitoring and managing Indigenous cultural data in the state will become easier with a new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Information System (ACHIS) in the works. 

Heritage NSW and Aboriginal Affairs will lead the research for the pre-design of the initiative, with a view to bringing cultural heritage information ‘up to modern standards’. 

According to NSW Aboriginal Affairs minister Ben Franklin, community consultation was an important step in ensuring cultural heritage is adequately supported. 

“We want to work in collaboration with Aboriginal communities, listen to what feedback they have on this upgrade, and appropriately address any issues and points of concern they might have when it comes to their cultural intellectual property,” Franklin said in a statement.

“We aim to empower Aboriginal people and ensure the design of the new system is informed by and designed to address communities’ needs.”

Heritage minister James Griffin said the pre-design stage was a ‘powerful’ way for First Nations people to develop the new system.

“We want to hear from the Aboriginal community about what is needed from the new system, to ensure their cultural heritage is accessible and easy to use,” he said. 

The project has been seeded by a $500,000 investment from the digital restart fund administered by the Department of Customer Service. 

The EOI invitation for pre-design is open to Aboriginal organisations, communities, and individuals. Virtual information sessions about the project will be held on 7, 13 and 19 July, with the cut off for EOIs being COB 21 July. 

Customer service and digital government minister Victor Dominello said the system would be designed by and for Aboriginal people. 

“We want to make it as easy to use as we can. Working with [stakeholders] on the pre-design research stage will help identify any issues early, and lead to a more user-friendly end product,” Dominello said.


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