Aboriginal tour reveals Wallaroo's rich heritage

15 March 2021 

A tour of Aboriginal cultural sites near Wallaroo marked the first on Country meeting of the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board’s Aboriginal Engagement Committee last month.

Narungga elder and Wallaroo resident Peter Turner led the tour, which featured evidence of ancient campfires, coastal fish traps and chert quarries that were used by indigenous people to create stone cutting tools.

Mr Turner spoke at the meeting about the importance of protecting Narungga heritage sites and natural resources such as native vegetation and threatened species like Hooded Plovers.

“Evidence of Aboriginal occupation on the Copper Coast and Yorke Peninsula exists everywhere; you just need to know where to look,” he said. 

“Documenting and protecting what’s left is important to show respect for our ancestors and for future generations. Through this committee, we hope to highlight the challenges posed by inappropriate development, off-road vehicles and difficulty accessing sites.”

The Aboriginal Engagement Committee was formed to strengthen strategic engagement between the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board and First Nations’ communities in the management of the region’s landscapes.

Northern and Yorke Landscape Board Aboriginal Partnerships Officer Matthew Turner said the on Country meetings were a vital part of this process.

“It’s a chance for our committee to see the landscape through First Nations’ eyes, and to share knowledge on caring for Country,” said Matthew Turner.

“The benefits are many and varied. Aboriginal communities can convey what’s important to them and learn what’s important to the broader community. It’s also a chance for the five Nations to collaborate and share solutions on natural resource management issues.”

Aboriginal Engagement Committee meetings occur four times a year, with every second meeting held on one of the five Nations within the region, which include Nukunu, Narungga, Ngadjuri, Kaurna and Peramangk. One representative from each Nation is part of the committee, together with three Northern and Yorke Landscape Board members, and a representative from the Legatus Group and Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North.

For more information about the Aboriginal Engagement Committee, contact Matthew Turner from the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board on 8841 3444.

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