Culture and heritage

Aboriginal cultural heritage

The sea and the rock gives us a feed: mapping and managing Gumbaingirr wild resource use places

Consider the following events:

  • a favoured fishing spot of the Gumbaingirr people is made part of a marine park sanctuary zone, where fishing is prohibited
  • a stand of bush food plants is destroyed by road widening
  • the construction of a bridge brings the loss of a swimming hole
  • a swamp, once a rich source of fish, eels and other foods, is polluted by sewage.

Are these 'cultural heritage' issues? Can the beach, the food plants, the swimming hole and the swamp be considered 'heritage places'? What cultural values do Aboriginal people associate with these places and the health of the environment?

This book looks in detail at these questions. It does so by describing a project in which Gumbaingirr people have worked with the NPWS to map and document their history of using wild foods and medicines over the last 50 to 100 years.

The project was conducted at Corindi Beach, a small town on the NSW mid-north coast. It revealed a complex web of places associated with fishing, hunting and collecting. These places, and the activities associated with them, shed light on the strong attachment between people and their local landscape. They indicate the presence of long-standing knowledge about animals, plants and the environment.

Continued use of wild resources plays an important role in the life of the people who collaborated in this research. There is a direct link between the well being and cultural identity of Aboriginal people at Corindi Beach and their ability to access valued places and resources. Such a link can play a valuable role in land use planning processes and approaches to cultural heritage management in NSW.

You can download the report below, or buy it online at the NSW Government Online Bookshop.

Documents to download

The sea and the rock gives us a feed: mapping and managing Gumbaingirr wild resource use places (PDF - 533KB)

The format and structure of this publication may have been adapted for web delivery.

Page last updated: 25 March 2014