Over the past week, the Aboriginal-owned Worimi Conservation Lands north of Newcastle has hosted a series of Aboriginal Site Identification Courses, to improve understanding and protection of Worimi cultural sites.

NPWS officer Craig Wall and Worimi Visitor Service Assistant Rachel Syron

Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management Chair Jamie Tarrant said that the Aboriginal-owned park is host to an extraordinary number of significant cultural sites that contain a diverse range of artefacts and values.

The sites provide a window into the past and showcase the connection and harmony to the land held by the Worimi for thousands of years.

Sharing cultural knowledge to better protect sites is integral to the Board’s vision for the park, and the two-day Aboriginal Site Identification workshops provided hands-on experience for both Worimi Custodians and Non-Aboriginal caretakers,” said Mr Tarrant.

Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Smith said the workshops provided an opportunity to come together and listen, learn, share stories and connect as one in our custodial and caretaking roles.

The training strengthened practical skills focused on artefact types, site identification, recording and understanding cultural heritage legislation.

Better still; it shaped new understandings and relationships, creating greater appreciation for the important role everyone has in protecting Australia’s oldest living and continuous culture”, said Mr Smith.

NPWS Hunter Central Coast Branch Director Kylie Yeend added that the training was reflective of the park’s cooperative management approach and was delivered in partnership with the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The opportunity to share time on Country with the Worimi Owners was a privilege and the generosity in sharing their cultural knowledge and stories highlighted their deep connection to this special place.

The Worimi Conservation Lands lies within a dynamic coastal landscape which often experiences extreme weather conditions and large numbers of visitors, presenting significant challenges for protecting the park’s cultural sites and values.

The training course drew on many years of cultural knowledge and management expertise to boost the skills required to meet the challenge of safeguarding Worimi cultural values in the park for the future”, said Ms Yeend.

For more information on the Worimi Conservation Lands visit www.worimiconservationlands.com

Practising the art of making tools, aka “knapping”.