CAWA acknowledges and respects the Traditional Owners, including Elders, of land and waters throughout Western Australia, and recognises their continuing connection to such land and waters.

CAWA acknowledges that Aboriginal cultural heritage (ACH) may exist in places where climbing takes place in Western Australia and that climbers must comply with the laws of Western Australia that relate to ACH.

For the purposes of this Code, ACH is defined as any object or place of cultural significance to Aboriginal people, including Aboriginal ancestral remains.

It is important for climbers to accept that climbing is a privilege and not a right, and that access to climbing areas can easily be taken away, even if laws concerning ACH are complied with.  This has happened at Walcliffe, and in Victoria (Grampians and Mt Arapiles).

With that in mind this Code of Practice sets out standards for all climbers in Western Australia in relation to ACH:

  1. Check whether ACH may exist in existing climbing areas where you intend to climb, and access route(s) to and from those areas.  This can be done via the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System (www.dplh.wa.gov.au/ahis) which identifies the general location of registered Aboriginal sites and other cultural heritage.  CAWA is in the process of creating a table showing ACH in and around the main climbing areas throughout Western Australia, which will be posted on the website.
  2. If you intend to access, climb or develop a new climbing area, check to see whether any ACH exists in that area, and the access route(s) to and from that area.  This can also be done via the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System (www.dplh.wa.gov.au/ahis).
  3. If you become aware of ACH whilst accessing, climbing or developing a climbing area, cease all activity in that area, and report the find to the President of CAWA.  CAWA will then investigate and provide guidance on access to the area concerned.
  4. If you are confronted by Aboriginal people regarding the existence of ACH in an area you are accessing or climbing, be courteous, cease all activity in that area, and report to the President of CAWA.  CAWA will then investigate and provide guidance on access to the area concerned.
  5. Comply with the CAWA Code of Conduct and the Code of Bolting and New Route Development.