There are literally thousands of Aboriginal sites recorded around Sydney including shell middens, engravings, rock art, tools, tool making sites, scarred trees, fish traps, stone arrangements and ceremonial grounds - just to name a few. All of these providing not only a tangible connection to the rich Aboriginal heritage of the region but also continue to play a role in the living cultures of local indigenous communities in the area.
In order to learn more about Aboriginal culture and their connection to cultural sites, Gone Bush VIPs recently enjoyed an 'on country' experience with local Darug Aboriginal man, Stuart McMinn, in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (25km north of Sydney).
Stuart is an acclaimed cultural educator and international performer from the Dharug and Wakka Wakka Nations. Stuart has spent many years walking country across Australia, following sacred song lines and embracing his indigenous heritage while learning about bush foods, medicines, ancient philosophy, wisdom and sustainable living.
Ku-ring-gai Chase is home to over 800 recorded Aboriginal sites. Our journey with Stuart focused on three specific sites that sit along a traditional song line that once connected local people from the east coast to the interiors of the county and beyond all to the west coast of this massive continent!
As we toured the park and visited a number of engraving and art sites, Stuart explained his peoples connection to the sites, to the landscape more broadly as well as sharing a number of traditional practices, cultural customs, beliefs and stories with the group.
The day concluded with a BBQ in the park and allowed opportunity for plenty of followup questions with Stuart, who was candid, sincere and engaging throughout the experience. We'd like to thank Stuart McMinn for this memorable experience, it certainly enriched and left an imprint on the group who attended.
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