As we celebrate 20 years as a City within a World Heritage Area, sustainability lies at the heart of our Community Vision.
The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (WHA) is located within the Country of six first nations being the Darkinjung, Dharawal, Dharug, Gundungurra, Wonnarua and Wiradjuri Traditional Owners.
The City of the Blue Mountains within the WHA is in the Ngurra (Country) of the Gundungurra and Dharug Traditional Owners who have a continuous and deep relationship with Ngurra since the time of creation.
For countless generations the Traditional Owners of Country in what is now the WHA sustainably managed and lived in a harmonious balance with the land and waters and all that is within them, with this ensuring the health of the natural environment that in turn underpins the WHA status.
This Traditional Ownership was never ceded or surrendered and the relationships with and profound care for Country that Gundungurra and Dharug Traditional Owners still hold continues today.
The Council is committed to continue to work with Gundungurra and Dharug Traditional Owners to Care for Country, which contributes to enhancing the values of the WHA. One key way in which the Council work with Gundungurra Traditional Owners to Care for Country is through the Gundungurra Indigenous Land Use Agreement.
The Council will continue its leadership in working through the Gundungurra ILUA and other similar agreement with Dharug Traditional Owners to Care for Country to support the ongoing values of the WHA.
In consultation with Traditional Owners the Council may also develop an activity which reflects on the critical role that Traditional Owners have held for time beyond measure, and the partnerships with Traditional Owners in managing what is now called the WHA.
NAIDOC Week 2020
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia every July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
It's a great opportunity to participate in activities to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and recognise the contributions they make to the Blue Mountains.
Each year the National NAIDOC Committee selects a theme which provides an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on and celebrate, with this year’s theme being ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.
Earlier this year the National NAIDOC Committee decided to postpone NAIDOC Week from the original July dates to the 8-15 November due to the impacts and uncertainty from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across our communities and cities.
The postponement was aimed at protecting our elders and those in our communities with chronic health issues from the disastrous impacts of COVID19.
Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, there are a number of activities planned within the Mountains to celebrate NAIDOC Week this year.
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre will be holding a NAIDOC Community Day on Saturday 7 November. This day long event will feature Gundungurra and Dharug Traditional Owners teaching and performing storytelling, music, art, bushcraft, dancing and more. Limited capacities, social distancing and hygiene measures will be implemented.
Blue Mountains Libraries also will be screening a special story time with community Elder, Aunty Pat Field, who will share a timeless story important to her people. Find out more.
As there are still limitations on the types of events that can safely occur, and the uncertainty around COVID-19 the event organisers for the annual NAIDOC Flag Raising and NAIDOC in The Gully have decided not to hold these events this year.
Similarly, as this year is one like no other, instead of dedicated NAIDOC awards for select Blue Mountains Aboriginal Community members, this year the AAC and the Council wish to acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the region and to celebrate the contributions that they make every day in the City of the Blue Mountains.