AHS leads cultural heritage charge in mining sector

We were recently featured in the May edition of Resources Review magazine, discussing our important cultural heritage work in the resources sector. 

We have forged a reputation as an industry leader in providing historic and Aboriginal cultural heritage solutions, with an ongoing focus on the resources and renewables sectors. 

Key members of our staff have operated at the forefront of cultural heritage across the resources sector for more than 30 years, with more successful outcomes than any other consultants in Queensland.   

The approach at AHS is to provide ‘pragmatic and practical’, solutions for mining companies, who are obligated to establish for their operations.  

“We filter down the complex requirements of historic and Aboriginal heritage obligations, developing pragmatic and practical solutions for all involved stakeholders,” explained AHS Managing Director, Benjamin Gall. 

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to cultural heritage and often proponents are given misguided short-term solutions that don’t meet the required standards for compliance and community expectations.  We are changing this, one client at a time.” 

Our core team of 16 in-house heritage consultants, archaeologists and cultural heritage experts allows us to provide effective solutions for a wide range of heritage projects and issues, including Aboriginal cultural heritage, built heritage, cultural landscapes, adaptive re-use of heritage listed buildings, and culturally sensitive design. 

“The success of many mining operations hinges on Aboriginal cultural heritage, as well as Native Title matters – this is where our expert and experienced team can help.  There is a new space for cultural heritage practice since the ‘Juukan Gorge matter’ in Western Australia in 2020, and many of our competitors aren’t up to date with these new requirements.” Ben states. 

We conduct various in-depth assessments and offer strategic advice to ensure that any potential impacts a mining or resources project may have to cultural heritage are avoided, as well as ensuring clients meet their cultural heritage obligations and duty of care under relevant Federal, State, and local legislation requirements. 

Key personnel within the AHS team have even been called upon as Expert Witnesses by the State and Federal Government on numerous occasions. We are also the only heritage firm to be appointed to the Queensland Government’s Panel for Cultural Acts Review.  

“We have been involved in a substantial array of large-scale mining projects around Australia and have extensive experience in ensuring proponent activity adheres to relevant heritage requirements.” Ben said. 

Between AHS Director Benjamin Gall and Principal Consultant Ann Wallin, they have worked on more cultural heritage and Native Title projects than any other team in Queensland, with a strong track record of successful outcomes. 

“Both Ann Wallin and I have also worked as expert witnesses for the Parliamentary Hearing for the North Australia (Juukan Gorge) matter, a case that set a new precedent for heritage matters,” Benjamin Gall said. 

The secret to our success – not so secret anymore – is our longstanding relationship with Traditional Owners and in-depth knowledge of cultural heritage and Native Title matters, developed across nearly four decades of consultation. 

“Our work with Traditional Owners is well proven, which is why we are known and trusted by Aboriginal groups and proponents around Australia,” Benjamin said. 

“Genuine trust on both sides is very important to us, and it’s reflected in our results.” 

The team’s close working relationships with Traditional Owners and knowledge of cultural heritage and Native Title obligations, ensures that resources sector projects remain viable now and into the future. 

“We have sat on both sides of the table, and continue to do so, which allows us to offer the most up-to-date information and ensure proponents are meeting their obligations,” Benjamin said. 

“Two of the critical assessments we undertake are Cultural Heritage Assessments and Cultural Heritage Agreements or Plans. These assessments, through historical and desktop research and site investigations, develop risk scores for a project and provide policy development, recommendations, and mitigation measures, including local, State, EIS and EPBC requirements.” 

In some cases, we even assist proponents in designing the footprint of the proposed areas to avoid negative impacts to cultural heritage, and work to create a positive relationship between the Aboriginal groups and the proponent.  

Contact us 

To discover how we may be able to assist you on your next project, contact us today here via our website or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn