The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority is an independent statutory authority responsible for overseeing the protection of sacred sites across land and water in the Northern Territory.

Aboriginal sacred sites are vital to the cultural heritage of the Northern Territory. They are an intrinsic part of a continuing body of practices and beliefs emanating from Aboriginal laws and traditions, and their preservation is important to all Australians.

Led by an Aboriginal Board, AAPA is a small and dedicated team working with Aboriginal custodians to ensure sacred sites are protected whilst providing developers with certainty and confidence when carrying out works.

All employees are employed under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (Sacred Sites Act) and therefore are employed by the Board and managed by a Chief Executive Officer appointed by the Administrator of the Northern Territory.

The Authority is committed to inclusion, diversity and accessibility in our workplace, and actively respects and values the unique contributions of all people. 

We strongly encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people to apply for roles.

AAPA has four units: Research, Corporate Services, Policy and Governance, and Office of the CEO.

Research is responsible for leading all research in relation to sacred sites including consultation with Aboriginal custodians, and liaison with landowners and other stakeholders, sacred site registrations, and cultural mapping.

Corporate Services is responsible for business services and systems administration; information management and security; human resources including recruitment; procurement and consultants; finance and budget management.

Policy and Governance is responsible for legislative and policy guidance; organisational performance; Authority Board and secretariat functions; investigations and prosecutions relating to damage to sacred sites. 

Client Services processes all requests for Authority Certificates, Site Registration, and Information.


Current job opportunities

Employment benefits


The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority is a supportive, collaborative work environment where good work is recognised and rewarded. We offer a range of initiatives to ensure the wellbeing of all our staff. These include:

  • Flexible work agreements

  • Professional development opportunities

  • Flu vaccinations

  • Free and confidential counselling services

  • Social Club

  • 6 weeks (30 days) of recreation leave each year

  • 11% superannuation employer contribution

Staff at the Authority work under the NT Public Service Enterprise Agreements.

Aboriginal custodian in a helicopter giving a thumbs up

2023 People Matters Survey Results

Happy people


“I believe the work I do is important”



“My manager thinks employees’ wellbeing is important”



“My job allows me to use my skills, knowledge and abilities”