The people of the Greater Blue Mountains
Six Aboriginal language groups treasure connections with the Country of the Greater Blue Mountains. They are the Dharawal and Gundungurra people (in the south), the Wiradjuri (in the west and north-west), and the Wanaruah, Darkinjung and Darug (in the north-east).
These connections involve cultural practices, family, community, knowledge and learning, songs, stories, art, tracks, places, landforms, plants, animals and natural resources.
The term Country means more than just the land, as culture, nature and land are all linked. Peoples' lives and spirituality are related to the land, and to custodial relationships with Country reaching through time.
For Aboriginal people each place, animal, plant and event holds living stories. In oral traditions, these stories contain the knowledge of Country, to be passed down through generations.
Special places and rock art exist throughout the area as testament to these continuous community connections.
Working together for Country
Local Aboriginal people have always been strongly connected to the Greater Blue Mountains.
New settler communities can also build caring relationships with landscape. An example is the century-long struggle to secure the conservation reserves and to protect their unique values.
The New South Wales Government is seeking ways to work with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities alike to ensure lasting protection of Country for the enjoyment of future generations.
Community discussions are exploring different ways of knowing the land, and promoting respect across cultures and generations. Aboriginal people are speaking for Country, and for looking after areas now set aside from development.