The project documented in this publication considered one aspect of the cultural values that Aboriginal people associate with the land and sea: it focused on mapping and assessing places associated with the use of wild resources in the historic past and the present day. This includes areas used for fishing, hunting, camping and obtaining plant materials.
Significant knowledge and expertise was contributed to the project by the Garby Elders and the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation and local people’s experience of living in the Corindi Beach area was the primary source of information tapped into by the research. The places and values identified by Gumbaingirr people would in most cases be invisible archaeologically. Instead, identifying the mosaic of places in this study has required oral history research and detailed cultural mapping, both of which rely on the expression of participants’ personal knowledge.
At the same time, the project shows the value of bringing local knowledge and NPWS expertise together to achieve cultural heritage goals. The result on the one hand is recognition of continuing Aboriginal connections to land and sea, and on the other, the development of planning approaches that respect and provide for community values.