Indigenous Heritage Programme

Machinery of Government changes

The Indigenous Heritage Programme (IHP) transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in November 2013. On 1 July 2014, the Indigenous Advancement Strategy replaced the IHP and more than 150 other individual programmes and activities.

About the Indigenous Heritage Programme

The Indigenous Heritage Programme (IHP) is an ongoing competitive annual grants programme which provides funding to support the identification, conservation, and promotion of heritage places important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Since 2004, the programme has provided over $30 million to support more than 500 Indigenous heritage projects across Australia.

As well as delivering strong heritage outcomes, the IHP delivers broader social, health and economic benefits for Indigenous communities. The programme supports projects which provide Indigenous people with education, training, employment and business opportunities, and which foster Indigenous peoples' aspirations to care for and reconnect with country and maintain their cultural traditions.

For further information on the Indigenous Heritage Programme email or phone 1800 982 280.

2013-14 Strategic Projects

In 2013-14, the Australian Government has invited proposals from Indigenous organisations; natural and cultural heritage management organisations and educational institutions working in partnership with Indigenous communities to fund strategic projects. At least 15 pre-existing grantees and organisations have been invited, by direct approach, to submit proposals for assessment by 6 March 2014. These organisations’ current projects have strategic significance owing to their potential to extend on existing heritage planning and meet the programme’s objectives.

Making a difference

The quality and success of the programme has been acknowledged nationally and internationally. The IHP was identified as one of the 'things that work' in the Productivity Commission's report 'Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2011.' Many of the participants in IHP projects have gained short-term employment, as well as marketable skills which contribute to greater economic participation through training in site survey and recording techniques, database management and fencing skills. Some organisations have reported using the cultural knowledge captured through IHP identification projects to contribute to the creation of successful cultural heritage tourism businesses.

IHP projects have contributed to safe and supportive communities and community cohesion through enhanced respect for the cultural knowledge of Elders, and reinvigorated pride in culture. By assisting Indigenous people to access traditional lands to undertake cultural heritage activities IHP projects have also delivered improved health outcomes and healthier lifestyles for participants.

Projects funded through the IHP in 2012-13 include conservation of burial sites, conservation management plans, heritage surveys, interpretative signage, pamphlets, books and repair work.