New Indigenous Party opposed to DLALC bushland development

Aboriginal Central Coast women Renee Sales and Tracie Howie are opposed to the development

The Indigenous Party of Australia, currently in the process of becoming a registered political party, has joined the groundswell of opposition to a development project planned for sensitive land at Kariong.

The Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council (DLALC) proposal for a 70-home housing development in Woy Woy Rd is currently under consideration by the NSW Planning Department, with a campaign spearheaded by Coast Environmental Alliance and some members of the Central Coast’s Indigenous community saying the plans would encroach on culturally significant land.

DLALC has questioned the cultural authority and status of some Aboriginal groups in the community, with much of the controversy centred around the use of the term Guringai in defining Indigenous residents on the Coast.

“(Local government) on the Northern Beaches faced a similar dilemma and provided a report clarifying the status of the Guringai,” a statement from DLALC said.

“In short the report found that the Guringai in Sydney and the Central Coast were a fiction and discredited the problematic anthropologist (who coined the name).

“Furthermore the ‘Guringai’ made an application for Native Title on lands including on the Central Coast and had to discontinue their application.”

Bur Coast Bloodline Custodian, Tracey Howie, a descendent of Traditional Custodian of the Central Coast, Bungaree, said the term Guringai was coined by a 19th century linguist, but so were many names of Aboriginal tribes and clans, such as Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi.

“We have just as much right to use the name as anyone whose ancestors were described by that name; it’s just a name,” she said.

“Our tribal group, known by linguists as ‘Guringai’, is represented by hundreds of other Aboriginal people throughout the Central Coast, Newcastle and Sydney regions.

“I was disgusted to see DLALC publicly describing our People as a ‘fiction’.

“To say that this is deeply offensive to our Elders would be a vast understatement.

“Several Aboriginal groups were described by European linguists as Guringai, with multiple spellings of the name; (DLALC has provided) absolutely no evidence to prove we aren’t the First People of the Central Coast.

“Some of the main Aboriginal clans in the Central Coast region are the Garigal, the Wannangini, the Walkaloa and the Wannabe.

“To the North our neighbours were the Awabakal, to the South, the Darug, and to the West, the Darkinoong.”

The DLALC statement also said the development in question is not adjacent to the Kariong Sacred Lands and imposes no threat at all to any Aboriginal sites.

“Darkinjung is seeking to exercise our right to self-determination for our community under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 and as the Cultural Authority of the Central Coast we reserve the right to preserve and protect our culture and prosper in post-colonial Australia which are not mutually exclusive,” it said.

But Howie said the proposed development was “certainly in the vicinity of Kariong Sacred Lands”.

“My ancestors lived and died on this land for thousands of years, and my People consider this part of Kariong, including the land DLALC (wishes) to develop, as sacred,” she said.

Howie joined with Coast Environmental Alliance (CEA), the Indigenous Party of Australia and other Traditional Custodians at a rally against the development at Gosford’s The Rhythm Hut on April 24.

CEA founder, Jake Cassar, said the land in question also has endangered wetlands, and is listed by the State and Federal Government as an Area of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS) due to the specific varieties of eucalypts it contains.

“In relation to DLALC claiming that there are no cultural sites on the portion of land they are trying to develop, I was told in no uncertain terms by the Department of Primary Industries and Environment (DPIE) that a cultural site was indeed discovered during the investigation into illegal clearing (which took place on the land last uear),” Cassar said.

“I have offered to meet with DLALC on several occasions to see if we can find a resolution, but to date my offers have been outright rejected.”

Central Coast indigenous woman and member of the Indigenous Party of Australia, Renee Sales, said traditional owners were concerned that sacred lands were at risk.

“The problem with this kind of development is that once our traditional beautiful land is destroyed, it cannot be put back,” Sales said.

“I have written to Darkinjung Lands Council a number of times but they never reply.

“We would be happy to sit and yarn with them to find a solution, but all we get is a wall of silence.

“There is plenty of land on the Central Coast that could be developed for housing – land which is already degraded.

“We are hoping that at some point the Lands Council will talk to us about this awful proposal

“We know that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on the Central Coast want to see as much of our bushland preserved as is possible; this issue concerns all Coasties – those who want to keep our black history as well as those who want to preserve the beauty of the Coast.”

Indigenous Party of Australia Executive, Lawrence Brookes, called on DLALC to “stop this madness and leave the Kariong Sacred lands alone” at the rally.

“The Kariong Sacred lands are of great importance to a number of Indigenous nations,” he said.

“They were the meeting place for combined ceremony and for the trading of goods.

“Tribes from as far away as Bathurst were believed to have participated.

“It was a place of peace, for sorting out differences.”

Terry Collins

4 Comments on "New Indigenous Party opposed to DLALC bushland development"

  1. The word Guringai was first recorded 1820s North of the Hunter River Port Stephens NSW, With different spellings and locations from many people all North of the Hunter River Port Stephens NSW.

    The Central Coast from Sydney to Newcastle is not Kuring-gai AkA-Guringai Tribe ,language, or Nation the word Kuringagai has been recorded as is a place name from Bungarees son Longdick. The Guringai People are not from the Central Coast from Sydney to Newcastle they are well recorded 1820s North of the Hunter river NSW. some people are only publishing what they like hearing.

    A review of the historical context for the use of the word ‘Guringai’

    7 aboriginal land Councils from Sydney to Newcastle have written a letter to the Premier NSW that the Guringai, Gringai spelt many other ways are from the North of the Hunter River.

    The Tawny Frogmouth magazine

    FINDINGS G.E. Ford Darkinjung Brief 2012 Chapter 9/NE Page 65-66
    C:\Documents and Settings\Geoff\My Documents\The Thesis,WPDocDrafts\-8-FINAL THESIS COPY FOR DEPOSIT\Darkinung Brief.wpd (
    “Although Threlkeld himself did not provide an identification term, the recognition of these people for the English was provided as Wannerawa aka Wannungine, apparently to indicate ‘of the Place’ – as a response to queries to the people about who they were. [In English convention, this identification becomes the term which is used for People, used for Language and used for Country.] In the meantime, a literary man, John Fraser, took it upon himself to create a name for these indigenes (who, he wrote) ‘are gone long ago’, naming them after a cove in Lake Macquarie known to the settlers as Awa-ba the success of his 1892 book meant that Fraser’s artifice has been used ever since for northern Wannungine near the Hunter River. The farther Wannerawa had since adopted another “term proposed” for near Broken Bay as ‘Guringai’ by Arthur Capell in a “preliminary 1970 article.” ‘Guringai’ had been used by Fraser in 1892 as ‘Kuringgai’ to designate people who used the common noun kuri for man, which he appeared to have taken from the term Gringai / Gooringai used by the settlers to identify a local group of` Kattung Language people across the Hunter River at the Paterson / Allyn River tributary. ( Oh how did I not see this section!)

    J. F. Mann Aboriginal names and words of the Cammeray Tribe, [between 1884-1907] – Page 1 | Transcription Tool (
    “Gai Galie Galla or alla refer to pleasant camping places as “Kuringagai” pleasant camping place for koories.

    Aboriginal Names by J.F. Mann 1
    Australian Aborigines – A few notes on their language etc.
    Information obtained from Long Dick an influential native of the “Cammeray tribe” a son of Bungaree and Queen Gooseberry.
    Now that England has enjoyed for more than a hundred years her possessory title to Australia inquiries are being made by certain scientists and others, as to their habits and language In my journeys through this country I have remarked that the languages used by the aborigines differed in the several localities in a manner somewhat similar to that prevailing in the various counties of England: Also that place names were given in accordance with the natural formation or product of the locality; whether the items which originated the name were geological animal or vegetable.
    Some few words were in common use throughout this territory and extended into Queensland. For instance ‘Budgery’ – good, satisfactory, pretty. “Bell or Bail” a negative – “Murrum or Murry” plenty, many, great, large etc. “Bong Bong” out of sight and others. The word “Budgery” in connection with “Gar” gives a name for the beautiful miniature parakeet now so frequently seen in cages. Gar Gai Galie Galla or alla refer to pleasant camping places as “Kuringa Gai”-“Bong Bong” is suitably applied to the locality, as the River Wingeecarribee here loses itself in a swamp.

    During the 1820s Threlkeld gathered some language from Broken Bay Aborigines, identified as ‘Karree’.10 That is now recognised as representing the Cari’gal, Kari’gal or -Gari’gal group of the south Arms of Broken Bay (Pitt Water and Cowan Water).
    Then Arthur Capell in 1970 identified the language to ‘more conveniently be called Kuringgai and is the name applied use by descendants of the Broken Bay Aborigines” from 1970” to the present day.

    In 1970, A.Capell made the following comment: —Karee, or Kuringgai, is the language of the Pittwater people, and included the well-known Cammeraygal on the extreme south, along the northern shores of Port Jackson, and stretched as far north at least as Broken Bay. (1970:24).Capell gives no other justification for calling this dialect ‘Kuringgai’ than the fact that it was ‘convenient. The name Kuring-gai appears invented / applied by John Fraser 1890s, using morphemes from the Sydney language. The name was applied by A.Capell 1970,its original use, as the name of a super-language of the central NSW coastal belt, makes it ambiguous.

    A.Capell’s 1970 paper was not complete, he called it ‘this initial report’ and wrote about ‘the monograph that is intended to follow’. He had retired from the Sydney University in 1967, and was his last work on Aboriginal languages.A.Capell did not spell it Guringai

    Also the AIATIS map by Horton 1994 which shows the general locations of larger groups of people. On the back of the map it said, “NOT TO BE USED FOR NATIVE TITLE OR LAND CLAIMS and is only the opinion of the author and have used what information was available at the time, the boundaries are not accurate.

    Written by JOHN FRASER 1890 totally contradicts his later work 1892 -93 and is proof of where he got the idea from that the kuring-gai were one super tribe and “&c , of Mr Oliver’s letter”. , John Fraser said in 1892 “ “I assured myself” that the country thereabout was occupied by subtribes of the Kurring-gai.”

    Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842 – 1954), Thursday 12 June 1890, page 4
    Sir, —When the municipalities of the North Shore combine and adopt the native name of their district, as Mr Oliver very fitly suggests, it is to be hoped that the spelling of the name will receive attention. For, although Cammeray is not a monstrosity like Woolloomooloo or Woollahra, yet the spelling of it might be improved. The C should give place to K, for C in English is a redundant letter, representing the sound either of K or of S, and should not be used here in our native words. The termination “eray” might, I think be written “arai,” for “ara” and “arai” are established forms in the aboriginal languages. The whole name would thus be Kamarai, which, certainly, is prettier and easier to pronounce than St Leonards. But as our blacks make the “a” and the”o” sounds to be nearly alike, the name might also be written Komaroi; to this we have a parallel in the name Kamilaroi. Mr Oliver is right as to the location of the Kamilaroi tribe. Many years ago I had the privilege of long and interesting conversations about that tribe with a gentleman who had been one of the pioneer settlers in their district 50 years ago. He could speak their language “like a native,” was called by them Charley Murruba, ” Charles the Good,” was never molested even in those days by any men of the tribe, and his property was always safe in their hands. He had often travailed the main road from Maitland to the Lower Namoi, and know the country well. The limits of the Kamilaroi dialect, he said, were then the River Gwydir on the north, on the west an irregular line drawn from Walgett, southwards through Coonabarabran and round to Scone on the Hunter, and thence east and north along the Dividing Range to the sources of the Gwydir. Beyond the Gwydir was the Ualaroi dialect, akin to the Kamilaroi, but yet considerably different from it; to the west the Wirrajery, or Wirradhuri, quite different and to the south and east the Goringai, also different from the Kamilaroi.
    I know that the Goringai tribe occupied the whole of the east coast from the Hastings and the Manning down to the Hunter, and had several subdivisions named from particular localities in their territory.
    These subdivisions correspond with the Cammeray, Cadi, Gwea, “&c, of Mr Oliver’s letter”, which were only local portions of one great tribe stretching along the coast from the Hunter, “probably” as far south as the Illawarra district. (LOL )
    The language of this tribe was distinct from the Kamilaroi, although, like all the Australian dialects, they had many words in common and the same root-word used in different forms or with different applications. For instance, one would say murra (hand), another would apply the word to the whole of the lower arm, including the hand; so also, mir or mil, the eye; mir, the face. The Kamilaroi says kara-ji for wizard, doctor, medicine man, but the Goringai says kara-kal. Of course, variations like these are common in all languages.
    The kal, of kara-kal, leads me on to say that cadi-gal is neither the name of a language nor of a tribe the gal or kal in this and similar names is merely a suffix equivalent to “belonging to” or ” they of,” just as we say a Sydneyite, a Londoner, an Aberdonian, an Englishman, in the local aboriginal dialect, would be called England-kal, and an Englishwoman England-kalin. Those who imagine that our aboriginal languages are only rude gibberish, are vastly mistaken. These languages or dialects are one of the unsolved problems of ethnology, but enough is known of them to prove that they have well defined principles of formation and of grammar which cannot have been the invention of mere savages.
    I am, JOHN FRASER.

    Mr Oliver’s letter did not give this “one great tribe” a name in his letter. It would seem this is how John Fraser “assured himself” it was kuringgai Tribe now claimed Guringai country.

    In John Fraser’s work 1882- 83
    “I assured myself” that the country thereabout was occupied by sub-tribes of the Kuringgai Fraser 1892 Fraser came up with the name Kuringgai to describe a people, our peoples.”
    John Fraser reported on Gringai 1882 and 1892, he noted the Gringai/Goringai, with the latter possibly being a language and the former a group, had country in the area of the Paterson and Chichester/Williams Rivers.

    John Fraser published what he said “Re-arranged, condensed, and edited” version of Edward Threlkeld’s essay” on the Aboriginal language spoken around Lake Macquarie. Ten years prior to this, Fraser had announced that: “The tribes with which I am acquainted are chiefly those of the northern half of our territory, the Gringai, the Kamilaroi, and the Ooalaroi, and to these I add a slight knowledge of the Wiradjery and Yuin tribes (1882:199-200).

    Maps by R.H. Mathews – 1897-1917
    Initiation Ceremonies of Australian Tribes Author(s): R. H. Mathews Source: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 37, No. 157 (Jan., 1898), pp. 54-73 Published by: American Philosophical Society Stable URL: Accessed: 30-03-2020 09:40 UT

    No. 5. Within this area, which extends from the Hunter river almost to the Macleay, the initiation ceremonies are of the Keeparra type described by me in Journ. An/hrop. Ins/. London, Vol. xxvi, pp. 320-340. This tract of country is inhabited by the remnants of the tribes speaking different dialects, some of the most important of which are the following: Wattung, Gooreenggai, Minyowa, Molo, Kutthack, Bahree, Karrapath, Birrapee, etc. North of the Hunter river and extending along the sea coast to about Cape Hawk there is an elementary ceremony called Dhalgai,

  2. Michael Price | May 7, 2021 at 9:26 pm |

    Thomas Booker Brisbane Water Tribe Buried Noraville Cemetary 1868 , This Needs recognition as DLALC are Ignoring Him for obviuos reasons.

    • Matthew Ross | May 11, 2021 at 5:06 am |

      I read that and found that as i was looking for my family history a friend of mine helped me look into a few things interesting stuff few unmarked graves there

  3. Truth Teller | May 8, 2021 at 8:32 am |

    Put your money where your mouth is!! Go to court and prove your claims to be from this area!!! All your words are just that words you have no proven authority only what you say, and after using the wrong tribal name for decades your word is worth nothing. Self identification is all you have, without court determination stating your a descendant from a tribe in this area you can’t claim to be a traditional owner.

    This group has lied to the community for years, claiming they are Guringai traditional owners when their claims were all a lie. They maybe descendants of bungee but he was born in broken bay south of Umina not the entire central coast. He also moved to Sydney early on with his family joining him, prob why they don’t know the name of the tribe, but that just proves they have no cultural customs passed down. This groups wasn’t around before the early 2000s which suggest someone created them. It’s sad they lost connection but that doesn’t give them the right to make up tribe names, Languages and customs. The fact that they have profited for decades stating they are traditional owners and this is now becoming more then likely false, is fraud. If their claims were not proven without a doubt to be true they shouldn’t of charged the community for services as a traditional owner!

    A group that for decades states their Guringai then without hesitation throws that name away and comes up with another name is so dodgy. Also looking at fb I can see they have been working hard to delete the name Guringai off all posts by organisations that used their services recently, were as a month ago there was Guringai all over these posts, further proving the dodgy operations of this group.

    Traditional culture can’t be created or changed now, if you don’t have info from years of generational knowledge sharing from your family then be honest about that, what you have read in books or from other mob should not be passed off as your own tribal traditions. You can still be a active Aboriginal member, without lying about your cultural authority. A group that has always been openly against all other Aboriginal groups in the area and would side with gubbas instead of their own people speaks volumes!

    Stop lying to the community and be honest about your background and family knowledge!! Your actions for your own personal gain are holding our people back, how can you turn your back on your own race!!

    As for the man who also commented in this article, your a very well respected community member however you have lied and profited from pretending to be Aboriginal for years, allowing schools, groups and organisations to believe your Aboriginal so they will hire you is dishonest. All you have to do is google your name and their are documents stating your a traditional Aboriginal tracker or your a Aboriginal elder/leader!! Half of the public believe your Aboriginal and this is your doing!

    Omission or failure to disclose is fraud to!!!

    I’m sure the mob that taught you these customs would be gutted to see you using this knowledge to take work of Aboriginal people to line your own pocket!! How dare you teach Aboriginal kids culture, this is a traditional, spiritual rite that you are exploiting!!

    Teaching bush tucker fine, but be honest with everyone that your not Aboriginal, even your website is misleading, instead of stating this fact clearly on all your promotional materials you use words that could be perceived as you being Aboriginal but without stating it outright. Very sneaky. You must stop using our traditional items (didgeridoo) in your tours for profit! It’s one thing to play, it’s another to use it to profit from!!

    How hard is it to be honest open accountable and transparent?? Seems to hard for this lot?

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