Aboriginal People

Liverpool City Council acknowledges the original inhabitants of the Liverpool area, being the Darug and Tharawal Aboriginal people.

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this page may contain images of deceased Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander people.

Council provides a number of initiatives to promote and celebrate Aboriginal culture within Liverpool. For more information, please click on the links below:

If you wish to be part of the Aboriginal Consultative Committee or want to find out more about various Aboriginal events or Local Aboriginal History, please contact the Community Development Worker (ATSI) on 9821 7758 or at BurrowsN@liverpool.nsw.gov.au

Welcome to Country

Welcome to Country is an important traditional Aboriginal cultural practice. It is conducted prior to official meetings, events or activities, where an Aboriginal person welcomes the community to their country. Each community (Aboriginal Tribal Area) has their own way of performing this practice. A welcome to country is a way of reminding visitors to the area that Indigenous people are part of Australia's past and present.

Welcome to Country can only be conducted by an approved Aboriginal representative of the country in which the event is being held. For example if there was an event being held in the Gandangara boundaries (see map below), a representative must be sourced from that tribal group or from the traditional custodians (Darug Nation or Dhurawal Nation).

If an Aboriginal representative is not available, an Acknowledgement to Country should be conducted. This can be performed by a senior person from the organisation hosting the event. It is protocol that if an Welcome or Acknowledgement to Country is already performed, the senior person from the organisation should also conduct an Acknowledgement to Country. This demonstrates respect to the traditional custodians of the land in which the activity is being held.

The suggested text and dialogue to conduct an Acknowledgement to Country is:

"Before we begin proceedings, I / we would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and their ancestors past and present; the Cabrogal Clan of the Darug Nation"

Optional add on: We acknowledge that this land was also accessed by peoples of the Dhurawal and Dharuk Nations.

Traditional Aboriginal Areas within SydneyTraditional areas within Sydney  (Source: Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council website)

To download a Welcome to Country fact sheet, please click here.

For more information, please contact Council's Community Development Worker (ATSI) on 9821 7758.

Aboriginal Cultural Protocols

The Aboriginal Cultural Protocols seek to recognise Australia’s Indigenous people by observance of practices and acknowledgements contained in the document. The Protocols provide key cultural practices that Council staff and community should observe at Council functions and events when recognising Australia’s Indigenous people, in particular, the traditional custodians of the Liverpool local government area - the Darug people. The Protocols also include key dates and other ceremonies relevant to Aboriginal people, and the recommendation for staff training in understanding and demonstrating respect for Aboriginal people and culture.

You can download a copy of the protocols here.

For more information, please contact Council's Community Development Worker (ATSI) on 9821 7758.

Consulting with the local Aboriginal Community

Consultation with Aboriginal people is an important component of working with the local community. Observing appropriate protocols when working with Aboriginal people and communities is critical to establishing positive and respectful relationships.

Council has developed a fact sheet that provides tips and resources to assist with consulting and communicating with Aboriginal community members. To download this fact sheet, please click here.

For more information, please contact Council's Community Development Worker (ATSI) on 9821 7758.

Aboriginal Consultative Committee

Make a difference, share your knowledge and learn about local Aboriginal issues.

The Aboriginal Consultative Committee was established by resolution of Council on 22 September 1997. The committee facilitates positive relations between Council at all levels and the local Aboriginal community. The Aboriginal Committee provides guidance to Council on Aboriginal issues and local Aboriginal Heritage matters.

The committee is open to all members of the Aboriginal community, non-Aboriginal people and Council Officers.

Meetings are held quarterly. Guest speakers are also welcome to attend, upon request.

To date the Committee has supported the development and implementation of the Liverpool Aboriginal Cultural Protocols and a Reconciliation Action Plan.

For more information or if you are interested in being part of this committee, please liaise with Council’s Community Development Worker (ATSI) on 9821 7758.

Places Of Aboriginal Significance

Aboriginal people have lived in NSW for more than 40,000 years. There's evidence of this everywhere, in rock art, stone artefacts and sites across the state.

Collingwood Precinct has been officially named an Aboriginal Place.

The announcement was made by Dr Andrew McDonald MP, Member for Macquarie Fields at a special ceremony on site on Friday 3 July.

The official naming of Collingwood Precinct as an Aboriginal Place acknowledges the traditional owners of the land.

Collingwood Precinct was a significant meeting place for the Dharawal, Gandangara and Dharug people and with the Georges River nearby, a source of valuable natural resources.

The official naming ensures the preservation of Collingwood Precinct's unique heritage for future generations.

Council is also committed to the ongoing preservation of the site through its Plan of Management for Collingwood Precinct 2007-2017, which provides a framework for the sustainable management and maintenance of this land.

Other significance places:


The Holsworthy area falls within the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council area. The Dharawal homeland is bounded by Botany Bay to the north and the George's River to the west and extends to the south coast. The Liverpool area was also the home of the Cabrogal clan of the Dharug people, and the Gandangara.

Artwork, archaeological sites, scarred trees and artefacts dot the Holsworthy area. More than 500 significant Aboriginal sites have been found within the restricted access areas of the Australian Army firing range at Holsworthy. Drawings of wombats, macropods, fish, eels, turtles, bats, emus, birds, lizards and other animals abound. More will be found as field surveys continue.

The main difference between the Holsworthy art samples and others is that red and white pigment appears to have been used equally for hand stencils while in other samples red clearly dominated. Charcoal, however, was the most commonly used pigment for artwork. The area also features a number of engraving sites. All of these are well preserved and appear to be telling a story. A total of 69 grinding groove sites (for making axes etc) have been recorded in the Holsworthy training area.

Scarred Trees

Thousands of surviving trees in NSW bear scars resulting from removal of bark or wood by Aboriginal people in the past for the manufacture of canoes, shields and other artefacts. There are a number of Scarred Trees that have been recorded in Liverpool. One is on display at the Liverpool Regional Museum.

Open Camp Sites

Predominately artefact scatters, such as stone tools used for working, food preparation etc.


Located all around the Liverpool area

If you want to know more about Liverpool's local Aboriginal History, contact the Community Development Worker (ATSI) on 9821 7758  or email BurrowsN@liverpool.nsw.gov.au

Cultural Days of Significance

  • The Apology, 13 February - anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples
  • Harmony Day, 21 March - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • National Close the Gap Day, 22 March - campaign for Indigenous health equality
  • Sorry Day, 26 May - commemorating the Stolen Generation
  • Reconciliation Week, 27 May to 3 June - marking two significant events, the 1967 Referendum (27 May 1967); and the Mabo decision (3 June 1992)
  • NAIDOC Week, Early July - celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture, history, and achievements
  • National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day, 4 August - a celebration of children
  • Indigenous Literacy Day 3 September - Indigenous Literacy Foundation, raising national  literacy levels.

For information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage flags, click on the below links.

National Sorry Day

The first Sorry Day was held in Sydney in 1998, it is now commemorated nationally with thousands of Australians from all walks of life participating in memorial services, commemorative meetings, survival celebrations and community gatherings to honour the Stolen Generations.

One year after the tabling of the report Bringing them Home which was the result of an inquiry into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families.

National Sorry Day provides the opportunity for all Australians to be involved in activities to acknowledge the impact of the policies of forcible removal on Australia's Indigenous populations and, then, to celebrate the beginning of a new un Keep photo

Liverpool City Council is committed to holds an annual event to honouring Sorry Day by hosting a remembrance event each on the 26 May.Sorry-Day

Image: Council's Sorry Day event was held on Friday 24 May 2013 at the Liverpool Regional Museum for a Flag Raising Ceremony followed by a visit to the Stolen Generations Memorial at Mount Annan Botanic Garden.

National Sorry Day 2018 -  Saturday 26 May 2018

Council's Sorry Day event will be held on Friday 25 May 2018 at the Liverpool Regional Museum at 10.30am. A Flag Raising Ceremony will be held and followed by a visit to the Stolen Generations Memorial at Mount Annan Botanic Garden.

Limited numbers, bookings are essential, for more information or contact Council’s Community Development Worker (ATSI) on 9821 7758 or email burrowsn@liverpool.nsw.gov.au


NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Liverpool’s NAIDOC celebrations are proudly presented by Liverpool City Council and form part of National NAIDOC Week events held throughout Australia  during the first week of July. NAIDOC is celebrated by all Australians.


More information regarding events around Liverpool will be posted in 2018.

Previous NAIDOC Week celebrations in Liverpool:

Aborginal1  Residents and supporters of Liverpool City Council stopped traffic with their NAIDOC Street March through the streets of Liverpool.

A street march took place with from Macquarie Mall with an official Welcome to Country and a heartfelt speech from the Mayor of Liverpool Ned Mannoun, smoking ceremony, didgeridoo playing in the background and a flag raising ceremony.



Following on from the official ceremony everyone was encouraged to join the annual Street March which traveled down Moore Street to arrive at Bigge Park. Attendees were clearly very proud to be a part of this important national celebration.


There was information stalls from local service providers, children's activities for the children included; an animal petting zoo, rides by A1 Amusement and arts and crafts, smoking workshops and Didgeridoo workshops throughout the day and top the day up a free roast lunch was provided. Over 300 people participated in the street march and family fun day event.


Torres Strait Islander Dancers performing at NAIDOC Week celebrations 2013.

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