Signposting Yaegl Country in Northern Rivers
10 December 2020
Colourful new signs are popping up on roads along the east coast as the NSW Government pilots a program acknowledging Aboriginal Country.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the statewide pilot of the new signs kicked off this week on Yaegl Country in the NSW Northern Rivers region and Darkinjung Country on the Central Coast.
"Many of the transport routes we take for granted today follow traditional Aboriginal Songlines, trade routes and ceremonial paths in Country followed by Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years," Mr Toole said.
"These include roads, rail lines and water crossings around the state, so it's a step forward to recognise the lands these routes cross by incorporating the new Acknowledgement of Country signs at important locations."
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the six signs unveiled across the Northern Rivers feature an artwork that reflects the Yaegl cultural landscape.
"Installing these signs showcases and promotes the deep connection Yaegl people have with Country and helps develop understanding in the broader community," Mr Gulaptis said.
"Transport for NSW has worked closely with the Yaegl and Darkinjung communities while preparing this pilot program, to develop the signage and decide on the best locations to display them."
Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC CEO Bill Walker thanked Transport for NSW for taking the time and effort to make the project happen.
"Yaegl people always have and always will have the physical and spiritual connection to the land, rivers and sea and will keep maintaining their culture through Caring For Country," Mr Walker said.
"Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC takes pride in building the capacity of its members and Native Title Holders to achieve best cultural, economic and social outcomes for both short and long term basis. Education, training and employment is the key to self-determination."
Transport for NSW work closely with other Aboriginal Nations to roll out similar signs across the state.