Established: 1974, Adelaide, South Australia
The Aboriginal and Historic Relics Unit (AHRU, AA 861) was established in 1974 to administer the Aboriginal and Historic Relics Preservation Act, 1965, which had been the responsibility of the Aboriginal and Historic Relics Advisory Board since 1967. The AHRU was initially based in the South Australian Museum and was responsible for creating and maintaining the Register of Aboriginal Sites, ensuring that significant sites were properly protected and coordinating regional surveys of significant sites. In the early 1980s the AHRU was transferred to the Department of Environment and split into two separate branches, the Aboriginal Heritage Branch and the State Heritage Branch. In 1993 the AHB was transferred to the new Department of State Aboriginal Affairs, now the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division.
The South Australian Museum Archives comprises correspondence, reports and other documentation, mostly from the period 1966-1977, relating to the protection and conservation of significant Aboriginal sites in South Australia, the appointment of Inspectors and Honorary Wardens and discussion of heritage legislation in South Australia and other states and territories.