What we do

Heritage Victoria is a regulator within the Department of Transport and Planning responsible for the administration of the Heritage Act 2017.

The Executive Director is Steven Avery.

Our teams

The statutory support team is responsible for assisting all the teams at Heritage Victoria, facilitating end-to-end statutory, administrative and business processes relating to the Heritage Act 2017. We are also your first contact when phoning or emailing any of the general phonelines or inboxes.

Our aim is to guide you through the administrative process of heritage applications and answer general questions about heritage protection in Victoria.

We also handle many of the day-to-day tasks which keep Heritage Victoria up and running.

These include:

  • website updates
  • Heritage Certificate processing
  • issuing of approvals
  • finance
  • public advertising.

The policy team leads the development of new and existing policies, including managing legislative and regulatory amendments to the Heritage Act 2017. We are also at the forefront of managing World Heritage matters, most notably through supporting the World Heritage Steering Committee for the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.

We work closely with stakeholders from across Government and the wider community to deliver improvements to our processes and procedures that ensure better heritage outcomes for all Victorians.

The investigations and enforcement team is responsible for ensuring that owners and stakeholders comply with their obligations under the Heritage Act 2017 and the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

We have a number of responsibilities under these Acts including criminal and civil offences relating to underwater cultural heritage, archaeological heritage sites including those on the Victorian Heritage Inventory, and places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register.

We also engage regularly with the public who are a major source of information about non-compliance issues.

The assessments team is responsible for maintaining the Victorian Heritage Register. Our responsibilities include assessing new nominations, undertaking research into heritage places and objects for possible inclusion in the VHR, and preparing recommendations to the Heritage Council of Victoria.

We are currently prioritising nominations that represent Victoria’s diversity such as migrant history, the role of women as architects and designers, and places with post-contact Aboriginal values. The team also updates existing registrations to bring them up to current standards and and responds to public queries about registered places and objects.

The permits team is responsible for assessing statutory applications to make changes at places included in the Victorian Heritage Register. These include permit, permit exemption and permit amendment applications, as well as assessing submissions to satisfy conditions of issued permits. We deal with a high volume of applications resulting in the determination of over 1000 statutory matters annually.

As part of our assessment, we will often visit heritage places and meet with owners, applicants and consultants. We also provide heritage owners and applicants with advice, feedback and guidance about the application processes.

The historical archaeology team is responsible for maintaining the Victorian Heritage Inventory. We assess newly discovered archaeological sites, make recommendations about their inclusion in the Inventory and consider archaeological places for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register.

The team assesses and issues Heritage Act Consents that authorise archaeological excavations and other activities that may affect or disturb archaeological remains. We also work with the permits team to assess works that may affect archaeological remains at places on the VHR.

We liaise closely with key stakeholders and the community to identify, protect, promote and manage Victoria’s archaeological sites.

The maritime archaeology team is responsible for the research, protection, management, conservation and interpretation of shipwrecks and other underwater cultural heritage. This includes diving operations to inspect and record sites as well as implementing management measures to minimise risk. Our maritime archaeologists are commercially certified divers who operate the dive boat, Trim.

We also undertake regulatory processes under the Heritage Act 2017 and Commonwealth Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018.

This includes:

  • maintaining the Victorian Heritage Register
  • Victorian Heritage Inventory
  • Australasian Underwater Cultural Heritage Database
  • issuing consent and permit (Victorian and Commonwealth) approvals.

The team provide specialist advice to stakeholders and engages with communities to promote positive interactions with maritime heritage. We also run the Maritime Heritage at Risk Program and the Shipwreck Discoveries Program.

The team at the Archaeology Research Centre manage Victoria’s collection of historical maritime and land archaeological artefacts. The Centre contains artefacts from significant shipwrecks (such as the Loch Ard, William Salthouse and City of Launceston), and from hundreds of archaeological digs that have been conducted across the State.

The team is responsible for the wellbeing of the artefacts, and ensuring they are stored in stable and controlled conditions that prevent their deterioration. They also make the collection available for research, exhibition, facility tours, talks and other events.

The major projects team is a multi-disciplinary team specialising in built heritage, historic archaeology, and place assessment.

Our focus is on managing approvals for projects of State significance such as:

  • Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation.
  • major infrastructure projects (such as the Metro Tunnel, and Suburban Rail Loop).

The team work closely with applicants and stakeholders through all project stages, from early design to final and secondary approvals. We also work with applicants and stakeholders to deliver high-quality heritage outcomes by assisting in meeting project goals and timelines and advising on Heritage Act 2017 compliance.

Page last updated: 24/11/23