The Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects is part of the Central Archive. It contains information about Aboriginal heritage in the state.
Information about Aboriginal heritage can be extremely sensitive, and there are legislative and cultural restrictions related to whether and how this information is shared. Cultural restrictions may be related to gender, age or cultural status.
Sites may be restricted to those who have attained a specific status, or restricted to only those from a specific Aboriginal group or groups.
Information about the location of sites and why they are significant may be confidential according to Aboriginal tradition. The Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects is not an exhaustive record of all Aboriginal heritage sites in South Australia.
As well as speaking to the relevant RARB, people seeking information about the location of Aboriginal sites in a project area can request a search of the Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects.
Online access via Taa wika
Online requests for searches of the Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects can also be made through our Information Management System, Taa wika.
The name is a Kaurna language description for ‘web entrance’, where Taa describes a ‘mouth’ or ‘opening’, and wika describes a ‘web’, or the internet.
Taa wika digitises the Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects, allowing for access by Traditional Owners and other authorised users. This supports recent changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act, which put RARBs at the centre of cultural decision making.
It also enables searches of the public Register of RARBs, which means people can look up Traditional Owners who can speak for country around the state. This allows land use proponents to engage with the right custodians early and in the first instance, and for those custodians to directly negotiate appropriate ways of managing heritage.
Applications for searches of the Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects can be submitted through Taa wika, streamlining the process for public users.
Strict information technology security protocols across Taa wika will ensure knowledge is protected in compliance with all appropriate cultural restrictions, including gender, seniority and custodianship.
Access is also available via email request which should include:
- a clearly defined and described area of interest
- lot/plan details, certificate of title number, tenement number, map, shapefile and/or grid references
- a reason for the request and a description of how the information will be used.
Types of search requests
If you are seeking information about whether there are Aboriginal sites, objects or remains in your project area, you may submit a search request. You will receive a letter stating whether there are any entries in the Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects within your interest area. Where there are heritage sites in that area you will also receive a map indicating the approximate location of the site and the contact details of the traditional owners of this heritage.
We will not release information about the precise location or details of the site without express written permission from the traditional owners.
If you are seeking information relating to a single parcel of land, certificate of title, mining tenement or a point of reference such as coordinates of a small generic area (limited size), this would generally be considered a basic search. From 1 July 2018, the basic search fee is $25.50 per search.
If your search relates to numerous parcels of land, certificate of titles, mining tenements or numerous points of references such as coordinates of large generic areas, including large buffered areas, and is estimated to take more than one hour to complete, it will be considered an extended search.
From 1 July 2018, an extended search fee is $76.50 per hour or part thereof.
Upon submission of your search request, you will provided with a link to the payment facility. Payment will be required before the search request is completed.
Please allow up to 21 days for a response to site search requests and up to 28 days, or as required by section 35 of the Act, for the release of information from site cards and/or cultural heritage reports.
For more information please contact us.