Aboriginal Reference Advisory Group
The Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA is striving to boost Indigenous cultural awareness and enhance engagement throughout our catchment communities. We are strengthening the emphasis on Indigenous culture in our planning and investment to ensure that our natural resource management advice and information is culturally valuable.
The Border Rivers-Gwydir catchment area is rich in Aboriginal cultural heritage. The Aboriginal community holds valuable knowledge about natural resource management (NRM) that can be shared with the broader community to contribute to the sustainable future of our catchment landscape.
It is the desire of the Aboriginal Community and the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA to undertake effective two way communication and consultation to ensure that Aboriginal cultural heritage values are incorporated into natural resource management and are visible, understood and appreciated.
The Aboriginal Reference Advisory Group (ARAG) was established in 2007 to create a formal platform for feedback and advice to the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA.
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Aboriginal Natural Resource Values
The value Aboriginal people place on natural resources stems from the strong relationship and respect they have for the land. Once the only people occupying this continent, Aboriginal people used the natural resources according to their 'lore' to maintain systems and species. The health of the land and the maintenance of biodiversity continue to be linked to the wellbeing of Aboriginal people, both physically and spiritually.
Aboriginal nations of the Border Rivers-Gwydir region include the Kamilaroi (Gomeroi), Anawaan, Ngarabal, and Banbai. Read more...
Finding cultural heritage
Landholders need to be aware of any Aboriginal cultural heritage sites that may exist on their properties and to understand their significance. It is crucial that these sites and any associated objects are preserved in order to prevent their loss. Read more...
Identifying cultural heritage
These last remaining relics of the region's past Aboriginal inhabitants hold important historical and cultural meaning for current and future generations of Aboriginal people. These relics and sites are also a valuable part of the shared heritage of the wider Australian community. Read more...
Significantly, in terms of natural resource management, these relics and sites provide evidence of activities that have taken place for thousands of years and communicate the story of how Aboriginal people interacted with the environment in a sustainable manner.
Non-Aboriginal Cultural and Natural Heritage
In the BRG CMA area there is a wide range of items of significant cultural heritage that reflect the region's history as a result of European settlement. While many of these items are located in the region's towns and villages, much valuable heritage is located in rural areas.
Trees blazed (marked) by explorers, elegant homesteads, cemeteries and unique shearing sheds are the first to spring to mind but most items are far less remarkable, including bridges and original infrastructure. From a natural resource management perspective, many of these items provide useful insights into the condition of the landscape and constitute a valuable resource that should not be lost.
In an era when rural Australia is under a great deal of social as well as economic and environmental pressure, a sense of identity is crucial to regional communities that are learning to deal with a globalised environment. There is also a responsibility to the wider Australian community, which in this increasingly technological age, continues to find its identity in the 'bush'.
Remarkably, our highly urbanised country maintains its connection with its tracts of untouched forest and empty places, and its pastoral vistas and rural lifestyle in almost equal measure.