Aboriginal Cultural and Spiritual Values of the Australian Alps

Cultural Significance Assessment

NSW & VIC

Australian Alps Traditional Owner Reference Group & the Australian Alps Liaison Committee

The Australian Alps are a place of great cultural significance for the Australian Alps First Peoples.

This project was initiated by the Australian Alps Traditional Owner Reference Group (AATORG) and the Australian Alps Liaison Committee (AALC). They were concerned that the National Heritage listing of the Australian Alps did not represent the range of values held by Aboriginal people who have traditional owner and historical associations with the Australian Alps. In relation to Aboriginal history and culture, the National Heritage List focuses on ‘the Indigenous history of moth feasting as the basis for large-scale gatherings of different Aboriginal groups for ceremonies’.

The primary project aim was to identify specific Aboriginal cultural and spiritual values that exist across all or a large part of the Alps that could meet the threshold of ‘outstanding heritage value to the nation’. Based on an extensive literature review, consultation with Aboriginal organisations and analysis of potential values, the project concluded that there were likely to be additional values under criterion (a) course and pattern of history, (f) creative or technical achievement , (g) strong or special associations for social, cultural or spiritual reasons and (i) importance as a part of Indigenous tradition.

AALC have now approved funding for a further 3 year project (phase II) based on Context’s recommendations. The next step for AALC will be to engage in wider Aboriginal community consultation.