Moon Rock Declared an Aboriginal place
MOON ROCK DECLARED AN ABORIGINAL PLACE
Wednesday, 26 October 2016: Mark Speakman Minister for the Environment Minister for Heritage
A significant Aboriginal cultural site on Sydney’s northern beaches, known as Moon Rock, has been declared an Aboriginal Place, NSW Environment and Heritage Minister Mark Speakman announced today.
Aboriginal people had traditionally gathered at Moon Rock to meet, learn and heal.
“Moon Rock has become well known for about 50 engravings which depict different phases of the moon, tools and weapons used and animals caught and eaten in the area,” Mr Speakman said.
“The site holds significant Aboriginal cultural values and has a direct connection to country for the local Aboriginal community.”
Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council nominated Moon Rock as an Aboriginal Place to help protect it as a place where Aboriginal people have gathered for generations to pass on knowledge, participate in traditional ceremonies and share traditional stories. Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams said the engravings at Moon Rock were rare and went back thousands of years.
“It’s important that we protect this historic site so that future generations learn about it and appreciate its cultural significance,” Mrs Williams said.
The declaration legally recognises and protects its cultural values but does not change the status of the land or affect ownership rights. It is an offence for a person to harm or desecrate an Aboriginal Place.
Pittwater Online News spoke to Neil Evers, a member of the Aboriginal Support Group – Manly Warringah Pittwater and descendant of James Frederick Lewis about this week's announcement. Neil has shared many insights into our area through Bungaree was Flamboyant during a Patriarchs of Pittwater I focus and again in Sarah A. Biddy Lewis - Martha Catherine Benns, during a Matriarchs of Pittwater I focus, as well as being our 'go-to' gentleman for insights on historical, cultural and contemporary matters regarding local indigenous residents. He is the Editor of Elimatta, the ASGMWP's Seasonal Newsletter - Spring 2016 HERE
Regarding Moon Rock Announcement
As a direct descendant of the Garagal Clan I wish to thank you for acknowledging and paying respect to the traditional custodians on the land on which we stand. My ancestors would be very happy.
There are over 4000 etchings of their stories in our local area and we need to respect the stories beautifully recorded in these etchings. Moon Rock alone has around 50 engravings, and in this case they are depicting Aboriginal astronomical knowledge, with eight lunar phases shown and Baiame the creator-spirit, as well as local totems, food, weapons and whales and stingrays.
It is no surprise that they were able to work this out and how their lives depended on the different seasons, and not just the four seasons that the colonials brought with them.
My ancestors utilised the land and its gifts for many generations and if you can imagine life before the British first arrived, it would have been completely different lifestyle.
The lakes and rivers crystal clear, beautiful wild life, great fishing and plentiful seafood. They had an abundance of food. Our local lands were the hunting, gathering and living grounds of my ancestors.
Neil was delighted to share some more great news this week on the same day we communicated the NSW Environment and Heritage Department's announcement.
"On the 26th of November Garden Island is dedicating a park to King Bungaree. A local Aboriginal man honoured by the Navy. Big day for the Mob!!" he said.
This follows on from Premier Baird's announcement on October 15th regarding Me-Mel, Goat Island, of the Government's intention to establish a Joint Working Group to explore mechanisms to enable Aboriginal management of Goat Island, including Aboriginal ownership. The Joint Working Group will include Aboriginal, stakeholder and government representatives in recognition of the shared Aboriginal, colonial and maritime history of Goat Island.
Extracted from Garden Island - Sydney Harbour Naval Precinct From: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=5055190