Communities work to heal the wounds of the past
COMMUNITIES living along Hanging Rock Creek, from Barkers Vale to Cawongla, came together with the traditional landowners, the Ngarakbul people, to heal the past and acknowledge one another at the weekend.
Event organiser Frank Taylor, of Lillian Rock, said the day was all about healing the past and looking to a better future.
“We are here to support each other and to say we are all the same. This land has a history and we wanted to acknowledge that, but it is also a fresh beginning,” Mr Taylor said.
The Hanging Rock Creek community received money from Kyogle Council to hold an event that would help build a stronger sense of community.
“We all wanted to do something with the money that would help us build stronger connections with the indigenous community, as well as the non-indigenous community,” Mr Taylor said.
Senior custodian Doug Williams, of Kyogle, welcomed everyone to country and said the day was very significant.
“This is traditionally our country and we did not give that right away,” Mr Williams said.
“Today these people are acknowledging us and we are accepting that acknowledgement.
“We are also acknowledging and accepting these people here too.”
Mr Williams' grandmother was Ngarakbul and his grandfather was Githabul.
The Githabul people's native title rights over nine national parks and 13 state forests in Northern NSW were recognised by the Federal Court of Australia last year.
Mr Williams said the recognition meant a lot to his people.
“They have recognised that we have a blood connection to the country,” he said.
The Mulli Mulli dancers and gospel choir performed.