Skip to menu Skip to content Skip to footer

You're viewing this site as a domestic an international student

You're a domestic student if you are:

  • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

You're an international student if you are:

  • intending to study on a student visa,
  • not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • not an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a temporary resident (visa status) of Australia.
You're viewing this site as a domestic an international student

Indigenous Cultural Heritage Management in the Australian Resources Sector

Delivered by Sustainable Minerals Institute


Learn how to manage Indigenous cultural heritage effectively and respectfully in Australian mining operations.

You’ll be shown practical approaches from Indigenous leaders and experts in the field and learn from each other via interactive activities. 

The course addresses cultural heritage management (CHM) principles and requirements for extractive industries at all stages of the mine life cycle.

Upcoming courses

Delivery mode
online, online classroom
2 October–12 November 2023
8.00am–4.30pm (GMT+10) Brisbane time
Time commitment
30 hours

Who should attend

People working in the resources sector, such as:

  • professionals
  • management
  • consultants
  • trades.

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements to enrol in this course.

What you'll learn

  • Ensure Cultural Heritage Management requirements are met while recognising a CHM plan's intrinsic and business value. 
  • Identify best practice approaches internationally and within Australia, and understand why a compliance-driven approach is not likely to meet Indigenous expectations.
  • Prepare the scope of works for CHM-related projects and articulate the business case for the need to undertake CHM work in collaboration with Indigenous heritage custodians.
  • Understand stakeholder engagement, including identifying native title holders and representative bodies and working constructively and respectfully with cultural heritage custodians.
  • Select and engage third-party expertise and support for CHM. 

Time commitment

This is an online course that will require roughly 30 hours to complete.

  • 26 hours of online content and study
  • 4 hours of scheduled webinars
  • Over 6 weeks.

Course curriculum

Introduction to the course, its aims and key concepts, including the importance of early and continuous engagement. It also aims to provide some context to the ‘deep time’ histories of the Australian continent, the complexity and diversity of Indigenous languages, and customary land tenure.

Definitions of tangible and intangible elements of cultural heritage (CH), and the relationships between them, are also introduced. The knowledge base for understanding the roles of the disciplines of archaeology and anthropology in the management of CH will be developed through short lectures. 

The importance of engaging with gender across cultural heritage management (CHM) will be taught and highlighted here and across the course.

An Indigenous perspective on CHM by archaeologist Dave Johnston is also presented.

This module will develop participants’ understanding of CHM and the deep interconnection between land, sites and people.

The rationale for effective and respectful CHM in the resource sector will be examined, considering for example the national and international industry standards and guidelines, the business case for CHM and its place as a core activity in social performance. You will also learn more about CHM’s foundational disciplines – anthropology and archaeology – and their methods.

You will learn about CHM implementation with an innovative example from Lihir (Papua New Guinea).

You will then critically engage with the criteria and requirements for preparing a Cultural Heritage Management Plan, by reviewing the 2 CHM plans provided.

A practical introduction to planning and implementing CHM Plans will be provided using the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Act Cycle) as an integral element in life-of-mine planning. The course includes teaching on the implementation of CHM from experienced practitioners in the resource sector.

This Module begins by examining legislative frameworks for Indigenous cultural heritage management across several states: Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

This discussion frames a consideration of the adequacy of compliance-based approaches to CHM. CHM is important in negotiating local agreements, including Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs).

We will discuss a range of approaches incorporating varying CH protection levels. We provide a case study, over two lectures, of a sacred site in the NT that was desecrated, despite the existence of an agreement, and the area’s legal designation as a sacred site. You will be tasked to critically engage with this case.

The importance of effective Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholder engagement will be emphasised as well as appropriate and effective approaches for preparing stakeholder engagement plans.

And you will  hear from experienced Indigenous social performance practitioner, Vanessa Elliot, on collaboration and codesign in CH management approaches and what cultural heritage means to her.

The issue of cultural awareness training for staff is also briefly considered. The course will also outline the use of risk management tables in CHM plans and the practicalities of preparing a scope of work for a CHM plan.


There is no assessment. However, to receive the Completion Certificate, you’ll need to attend the lectures and interact with the online material via the discussion boards and Padlets.

Certification and accreditation

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion to verify their skills and achievements.


Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining
Dr Sarah Holcombe
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining


Applicant Price
Individual domestic ex. GST A$2,000
Individual international (GST not payable) A$2,000
Student domestic ex. GST A$800
Student international (GST not payable) A$800
NGO / Not-for-profit domestic ex. GST A$1,000
NGO / Not-for-profit international (GST not payable) A$800

Please see the Terms and Conditions (PDF, 123.12 KB).

GST is excluded from the cost

Discounts can't be used with other discounts, offers or special promotions.

Payment options

We accept credit cards (Visa/MasterCard) for payment, including corporate credit cards. If you do not have access to a card, please contact our team at to discuss your options.


Sustainable Minerals Institute

For more professional development options, visit the Sustainable Minerals Institute website.