Ginninderry is a place of cultural value to the Aboriginal people and communities of the region and beyond. Ginninderry and the cultural places within it are elements in a wider cultural landscape bound together and traversed by a complex network of songlines and pathways.
The songlines and pathways extend down to the coast, up into the mountains and west along the Murrumbidgee, forming a complex web that connects and binds peoples and places together.
The Ginninderry Aboriginal Advisory Group (GAAG) was formed in 2018 through the cultural heritage assessment process undertaken in 2017 with the ACT Registered Aboriginal Organisations (RAOs) and NSW Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) for the Ginninderry Project. Within the ACT the RAOs have a statutory role in providing input into cultural heritage assessments and conservation management plans and consulting with the ACT Heritage Council on decisions affecting Aboriginal cultural heritage. Within NSW the relevant Regulations and Consultation Requirements require development proponents to consult with RAPs in relation to Aboriginal cultural heritage matters.
During the cultural heritage assessment process the RAOs and RAPs nominated those individuals that they considered to have cultural knowledge of the project area and these cultural knowledge holders were involved in the intangible (non-material) cultural values assessment that produced the Aboriginal Cultural Values Assessment Report. There were six specific places or sites of cultural value mapped within the Ginninderry development with a further three closely connected places just outside the development boundary.
GAAG exists to provide input into the Ginninderry project, to help ensure appropriate management and protection for these intangible cultural heritage sites. GAAG provides advice solely on cultural heritage issues within the project area. All six places of cultural value are now protected within the Ginninderry Conservation Trust Corridor and are managed and cared for alongside the tangible cultural heritage sites. As part of GAAG’s role two members sit on the Ginninderry Conservation Trust Board to ensure appropriate management of the identified cultural heritage sites. The RAOs and RAPs are the key stakeholders in caring for the tangible cultural heritage sites through the relevant legislative processes and their engagement in cultural heritage archaeological assessments.
Ginninderry is also engaging more widely with Aboriginal community groups to provide further input into the development as it continues. Those with an interest in the Project can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be involved in this.