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This document represents particular importance for the local Aboriginal people of the Avon River Basin – the Ballardong Noongar. Our people have lived in harmony with the natural environment of the Avon region for thousands of years – or as our ancestors have described – since time began. This document, therefore, aims to represent this close affinity Ballardong Noongars have had with their Country since the time of the Dreaming. This spiritual attachment to Country now incorporates a religious perspective for many Noongar people, who believe God is represented in the Dreaming as the Great Spirit who was the ‘Giver of the Land’. Ballardong Noongar were the recipients of this gift and were, therefore, given great responsibility to care for the Land. Through colonisation and the consequences of our historical past, Noongar people have lost their God-given right to take care of their Country. In this document, we are now saying that the time is right for Ballardong Noongar people to be re-engaged – for our black hands to be put back in our Country.

noongar; ballardong; country; story; language; history; traditional owners; reconciliation; elders