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Working on Country a focus during NAIDOC week

Two people working on a projectNorth Coast Local Land Services is highlighting the diversity of programs and projects being undertaken throughout the state to support Aboriginal people to work on Country and share traditional land management knowledge during NAIDOC Week 2016.

NAIDOC Week 2016 runs from 3 to 10 July and is an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The 2016 theme, Songlines - The living narrative of our nation, highlights the importance of Songlines to the existence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The North Coast region is the traditional home to a number of Aboriginal nations.  Throughout the landscape there are cultural sites, special places and physical evidence of land use such as rock art, culturally modified trees, grinding grooves, artefact scatters and midden sites.

These are the places where traditional skills, knowledge and cultural practices are passed down from generation to generation.

General Manager, Bruce Brown said North Coast Local Land Services recognises the importance and value of traditional knowledge in the management of natural resources and productive agricultural land.

“Our projects deliver services that support Aboriginal people to care for Country, protect cultural heritage and share traditional land management knowledge,” he said.

“We value the contributions of the NSW and Australian Governments who fund many on-ground projects, resulting in a healthier and more productive environment and opportunities to build stronger relationships with the Aboriginal community,” Bruce said.

North Coast Local Land Services has recently appointed an Aboriginal Community Advisory Group and a strategic approach to working with Aboriginal communities has been outlined in the recently published Aboriginal Engagement Plan 2016-2018.

Barry Williams, Senior Land Services Officer (Aboriginal Communities) said NAIDOC Week offers an opportunity to pay respects to Country; honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture and to share the stories of many sites of significance or sacred places with the nation.

“Many traditional land management techniques, for example the use of fire to manage landscapes, can have a positive effect on species diversity, landscape health and agricultural productivity.”

North Coast Local Land Services is celebrating NAIDOC week through support of the Planting the Seed event at Diggers Beach, Coffs Harbour, on Thursday 7 July commencing at 10.00 am.

Media contact:
Barry Williams, Senior Land Services Officer Aboriginal Communities Phone: 0427 234 048

Photo captions:
North Coast Local Land Services manages projects that build skills for working on Country.