Aboriginal people have lived on this land for more than 60,000 years. Country represents the deep connection to land, water and sky which is important for spiritual, cultural, family, and economic wellbeing of Aboriginal communities.
Connection to Country
Aboriginal people refer to the word Country to describe family origins and associations with parts of Australia. The collective identity of Aboriginal communities is also linked to place. The community itself is part of Country as well as each person in it.
The rich heritage of Aboriginal culture encompasses:
- tangible elements such as significant sites, landmarks and artefacts, examples include ceremonial sites, tools, fish traps, middens and scarred trees
- intangible values such as songlines, customs and ceremonies passed from generation to generation
- truth-telling and recognition of past events, for example places and stories associated with frontier conflict and the Stolen Generations.
We work with communities and heritage professionals across New South Wales to protect and manage significant Aboriginal sites and objects by:
- declaring Aboriginal Places
- recording sites and maintaining information databases
- issuing and enforcing permits for harm to objects and places (under specific circumstances)
- awarding grants
- facilitating repatriations of Aboriginal ancestors and cultural objects
- coordinating conservation work on the ground
- supporting the work of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee
- supporting community efforts to conserve culturally significant objects and places in the landscape
- consulting with community.