Topics: Culture: South Coastal

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under the water are Aboriginal rock paintings and carvings. Uncle Greg feels that “this land is a powerful spiritual place” and wrong-doers will be punished eventually


many Aboriginal sites around the Bardens Creek area were not being well cared for by National Parks and Wildlife – trail bikes had destroyed bush and some sites, houses built too near – so in 1985 she mapped all the sites and put in a blanket land claim for them.


Aboriginal names used to be used for the fish and octopus


Uncle Greg calls it his “university campus”, because the elders taught him values and how to live – “how to drift with the tide” and “how to be in deep water”. Now, as an elder himself, it is his job to teach about these things. He tells the story from when he was eight and had an encounter with a spirit man who, gently, helped teach him to consider others and not let his anger get the better of him.


“In the old days it was the women that used to do all the bush tucker.” Auntie Pamela Young, ranger at Kamay National Park at Kurnell, teaches a group of children the many uses of the Lomandra plant. It can be used for food and for making bandages, baskets, belts, bangles, fly swatters, traps, bookmarks and paintbrushes.


"They taught me how to be Aboriginal.”


“This is how they say: read the land.” Auntie Pamela Young , a ranger at Kamay National Park, teaches a group of schoolchildren about the Aboriginal calendar by showing them the acacia wattle flowers. When they bloom the women and girls were taught that the whales were migrating , it was good lobster hunting time and that the medicine on the tree was ready.


Aboriginal dance group performed for Taumarunui High School’s cultural group who visited from New Zealand


shell middens


Uncle Dennis Foley , Gai-Mariagal elder, describes how to cook mangrove snails.

1818 - view

‘King of the Georges River’

1845 - view


1845 - view

make a rug

1846 - view

collecting shells

1852 - view

gathering shellfish

1866 - view

relates traditional stories about the country

1882 - view

make shell baskets

1886 - view

old ‘foot-walk’

1890 - view

boats and nets for fishing

1921 - view

fishing, collecting and carving mangrove wood for artefacts, and collecting gum tips and wildflowers and making shellwork