Cultural Heritage Management in Victoria has bonded archaeologists and Aboriginal people to the logic of profitability. In this article, I argue that this approach to heritage neutralises and/or discourages any political or social interpretations relevant to aboriginal peoples, and undermines subsequent protest movements. I advocate that archaeology, as it is framed in Victoria, is participating in making the heritage ‘industry’ a profitable activity for Aboriginal communities, giving them an illusion of empowerment, ironically achieved through the destruction of their own non-renewable heritage. This process of commodification is consented to in exchange for financial compensation, presented as the key to emancipation. I intend here to demonstrate that this belief might in reality be detrimental to Aboriginal Australians.
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