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The Department of Indigenous Affairs' key objective is to improve the quality of life of the State Indigenous citizens - up to one third of whom live in isolated regional communities.
The Department has three core areas of business;
- the management and protection of Aboriginal heritage and culture. The Department administers the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 through processes such as the maintenance of the Register of Aboriginal Sites, supports the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee and advises on heritage matters. The Department also provides and information service to assist Indigenous people gain access to family history information.
- the management and transfer of Indigenous land. The Department supoorts the Aboriginal Lands Trust in the care, control and management of approximately 350 properties across Western Australia (which comprises 27 million hectares or 13% of the State).
- the coordination of a whole-of-Government approach to Indigenous issues. The Department provides the lead role in the Indigenous Affairs portfolio and works at national, State, regional and local levels.
As well as an office in metropolitan Perth, the Department operates out of six major regional centres - Wheatbelt, Southern, Goldfields, Murchison/Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley.
The Department of Indigenous Affairs was renamed the Department of Aboriginal Affairs on the 17th May 2013