Aboriginal People

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

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

Council provides a number of initiatives to promote and celebrate Aboriginal culture within Liverpool.

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.

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.

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

The Aboriginal Cultural Protocols seek to recognise Australia’s Indigenous people by observance of practices and acknowledgements contained in the document.

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.

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

If you are interested in being part of this committee, contact Council’s Community Development Worker.

Consulting with the 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.

Liverpool City Council will soon establish the Liverpool Cabrogal Working Group (LGWG) to support Liverpool's local Aboriginal community.

The purpose of the LGWG will be to offer cultural presentations and dreamtime talks, cultural awareness training, site tours and workshops for members of the community and workers from agencies with Aboriginal clients. The presentations will be tailored to suit individuals and groups.

Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council: 02 9602 5280

Deerubin Local Aboriginal Land Council: 02 4724 5600

Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council: 02 4681 0059

Liverpool City Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan was established by resolution of Council on 22 September, 1997. Find out more here.

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.

The NSW Government passed the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW) which is considered "the most generous legislation" allowing Aboriginal people to claim Crown land that is not needed for any essential purpose. It also set up a network of local land councils and a state land council (considered Australia's richest).

Liverpool City Council is privileged to have three local Aboriginal Land Councils operating within its LGA: Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council, Deerubin Local Aboriginal Land Council and Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The Collingwood Precinct

The Collingwood Precinct at Liverpool was officially named an Aboriginal Place and acknowledges the traditional owners of the land. The announcement was made by Dr Andrew McDonald MP, the then Member for Macquarie Fields, at a special ceremony. This precinct was a significant meeting place for the Tharawal and Dharug people and, with the Georges River nearby, a source of valuable natural resources.

Council is 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.

Holsworthy

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 Georges 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.

Artwork, archaeological sites, scarred trees and artifacts 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, kindly on loan from the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council.

If you would like to learn more about Liverpool's rich local Aboriginal culture and its hidden gems, contact Council's Community Development Worker.

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

Click here for information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

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.

The Sorry Day 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

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.

The 2020 NAIDOC events have been postponed to a later date because of COVID-19 concerns. Check back in a few weeks or provide your contact details to receive updates on coming events, forums and local Aboriginal matters. Email Council's Community Development Worker here.

Aboriginal organisations

Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Torres Strait Regional Authority

Arts & Culture

Australia Council: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts

Indigenous Language Map

93.7 FM Koori Radio

Education

Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience

Government

Australian Federal, State and Territory Governments Entry Point

Australian Government Indigenous Portal

Australian Local Government Association

National Native Title Tribunal

Office of the Registrar of the ALRA

Health

Australian Indigenous Health Info Net

Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care

NSW Department of Health

Heritage

Aboriginal Heritage Projects

Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC)

National Library of Australia Community Heritage Grants

National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT)

Heritage NSW: The Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System

History

Aboriginal Heritage Office

Australian Museum: Aboriginal Sydney Resources

University of Sydney: A History of Aboriginal Sydney

Housing

Aboriginal Housing Office

Aboriginal Hostels Ltd

Land Councils

Central Land Council (Central Australia)

Goldfields Land and Sea Council (WA)

Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (Commonwealth)

Northern Land Council (NT)

Law & Justice

Australian Human Rights Commission

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation

Indigenous Law Centre

Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning

Reconciliation Australia

Media

Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Indigenous

Gadigal Information Services/ Koori Radio

Koori Mail Newspaper

National Indigenous Times

NITV

SBS Living Black