Aboriginal Community


Wingecarribee Shire Council acknowledges the Gundungurra and Tharawal people as the traditional custodians of this place we now call the Wingecarribee Shire. 

There is a strong association to the Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Nattai rivers. These rivers are connected to culture, dreaming and songlines. 

Council provides a number of initiatives to promote and celebrate Aboriginal culture within the Wingecarribee Shire.

Aboriginal Community Development Officer (ACDO)

The Aboriginal Community Development Officer’s role is a vital link between the Aboriginal community of the Wingecarribee and Council. The ACDO role involves promoting Council’s facilities and services to community and providing advice to Council of the issues and needs of Aboriginal communities.

The Aboriginal Community Development Officer can be contacted at Wingecarribee Shire Council on 02 4868 0888.


What's On

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Programs & Services

The Mob Walking Group @ Bowral Hospital

A walking group for the community; come for a yarn, walk and lunch.

When: Every Tuesday

Time: 11.30am - 12.30pm

Where: Meet at Tharawal Clinic, Bowral Hospital

For more information please contact Joyce on 02 4861 0247 or 0477 328 465.

Springwater Tots Aboriginal Supported Playgroup

Aboriginal Supported Playgroup with skilled early childhood workers.

When: Every Monday

Time: 10am - 12pm

Where: 1A Crimea Street, Balaclava NSW

For bookings or more information please phone 02 4872 2777 or email kelly@wfss.org.au.

National Wildlife and Parks Services – Morton Park

National Wildlife and Parks offers insights into the Aboriginal history of the region with Aboriginal Cultural walks. Discovery rangers can tailor specific environmental programmes for schools, tour groups and communities.

Website: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/conservation-and-heritage/aboriginal-culture

Telephone: 02 4887 7270

Fax: 02 4887 7203

Dhungung (Food) Share

The Dhungung (Food) Share is an initiative that provides Aboriginal people and their families access to quality excess food.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the food security program will continue, although social distancing rules apply. The following changes have been made to ensure the safety of the community:

1. Pick up ONLY

2. 10:30-11:30am

3. No people are to enter the centre, pick up at the door

4. No services reps providing Outreach (until further notice)

5. Please follow the social distancing rules on arrival

Wingecarribee Aboriginal Cultural Centre

1A Rainbow Rd, Mittagong

For more information please call Melissa on 02 48680 888 or email mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au 

Springwater Tots Aboriginal Supported Playgroup

When: Every Monday 

Time: 10am -12pm

Address: 1A Crimea Street, Balaclava NSW 2575

Aboriginal Supported Playgroup

For Children 0 - 5 years old

Free nutrition lunch provided

Includes social and cultural connections

Please call Kelly to book in: 02 4862 1777

Local Organisations & Groups

Wingecarribee Aboriginal Community Cultural Centre

Address: 1A Rainbow Rd, Mittagong, NSW, 2575

The centre is available for small events, workshops and meetings.

Please note that this is a alcohol and smoke free venue.

Bookings and Further Information

For all enquiries contact: 

Aboriginal Community Development Officer

Phone: 02 4868 0888 

Email: mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au

Wingecarribee Aboriginal Network

The Wingecarribee  Aboriginal Network meets the last Tuesday of the month at the Wingecarribee Aboriginal Community Cultural Centre.

Address: 1A Rainbow Rd, Mittagong, NSW, 2575

Contact: Rodney Cook

Email: Rodney.COOK@network.pmc.gov.au

Wingecarribee Reconciliation Group Inc

Contact: Kim Leevers

Email: reconciliation.wingecarribee@gmail.com

Yamanda Aboriginal Association

Contact: Aunty Val or Aunty Annie

Email: yamanda@live.com.au

Mobile: 0412 466 430

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yamandaassociation/

Platypus Dreamin' (Aboriginal Educational Program)

Contact: Wendy Lotter

Telephone: 0422 631 243

Email: platypusdreamin@gmail.com

Koori Kulcha Experience

Contact: Marie Barbaric

Website: https://www.koorikulchaexperience.com.au/

Email: info@kkac.com.au

Phone: 02 4858 1754


Wingecarribee Aboriginal Community Cultural Centre

Address: 1A Rainbow Rd, Mittagong, NSW, 2575

The centre is available for small events, workshops and meetings.

Please note that this is an alcohol and smoke free venue.

Bookings and Further Information

For all centre enquiries and bookings contact:

Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council

Phone: 02 4226 3338

Email: ceo@ilalc.org.au

Aboriginal Culture and Heritage

The Wingecarribee Shire Council acknowledges the Gundungurra and “Tharawal” or “Dharawal” (as it is referred to in historical records) people as the traditional custodians of this place we now call the Wingecarribee Shire.

There is a strong association to the Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Nattai rivers. These rivers are connected to their culture, dreaming and songlines.

A Dreamtime creation story, Gurangatch and Mirragan, speaks about how this whole countryside came into being. The story describes an almighty struggle between two ancestral creator spirits, one a giant eel-like creature, Gurangatch, an incarnation of the ancestral rainbow serpent, and the other, a large native cat or quoll, Mirragan.

Aboriginal Frog Story

In spite of the impact of European settlement of Australia, the Gundungurra and Dharawal Aboriginal heritage has not been extinguished. The remains of prehistoric and historic Aboriginal occupation exists throughout the Southern Highlands.

Aboriginal Frog Story

State Government records indicate that there are over 400 significant Aboriginal sites within the Shire, including 86 sites or objects that exist in the vicinity of Council-managed land or roadside reserves.

There is one sacred Aboriginal Place in Wingecarribee Shire, called Nungungnungulla (Jubilee Rocks). This Aboriginal cultural heritage site was declared by the State Government as the 100th Aboriginal Place in NSW. Nungungnungulla is a significant Aboriginal landmark in the Gundungurra cultural landscape, where Aboriginal engravings, paintings and stencils, grinding grooves, scarred trees and campsites occur. It is a teaching place for educating children about Dreamtime creation stories, Aboriginal culture and its associated values and practices.

Wingecarribee Shire Council recognises that by acknowledging our past, we are laying the groundwork for a future which embraces all Australians; a future based on mutual respect and shared responsibility for our land.

Significant Dates

26th January - Invasion Day or Survival Day

January 26 was nominated as Australia Day to celebrate the anniversary of white settlement. It commemorates the ceremonious unfurling of the British flag at the head of Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1788. By the beginning of the 21st century, however, it was also recognised as a day of mourning for the invasion and dispossession of Australia's Aboriginal people.

The 1988 Bicentenary Australia Day celebrations in Sydney were marked by a huge and well-organised gathering and protest march by the Aboriginal community, many of whom had travelled to Sydney from all over the country.

Many Aborigines who took part in the Bicentennial marches felt they would like to have an alternative celebration of how their history and culture had survived. The first Survival concert, held in 1992, reflected a major shift away from the traditionally-named Australia Day to Invasion Day.

Regionally across New South Wales, an increasing number of Aboriginal communities are participating in their local Australia/Survival Day ceremonies and celebrations. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands flags are raised alongside the Australian flag. High profile Aboriginal people take the role of key-note speakers for the Australia Day Council, as well as local Australia Day Committees.


13th February - National Apology Day

19th March - National Close the Gap Day

21st March - Harmony Day

26th May - National Sorry Day

The National Sorry Day Committee was established in 1998 and has been incorporated since January 2001. From the beginning, the NSDC has worked with the commitment, dedication and involvement of both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.

National Sorry Day is commemorated on May 26 each year to acknowledge the Stolen Generations. Celebrations in 2008 marked the 10th Anniversary of the "Bringing them Home Report". In addition, Sorry Day 2008 celebrated the monumental act of Acknowledgement and Apology by the new Australian Parliament that took place on 13 February.
Further information is available on the National Sorry Day Committee Inc website.


27th May - Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum

27th May to 3 June - Reconciliation Week

Each year National Reconciliation Week (May 27- June 3) celebrates the rich culture and history of the first Australians. It's the ideal time for all of us to join the reconciliation conversation and to think about how we can help turn around the disadvantage experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

National Reconciliation Week celebrates the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and all other Australians.


3rd June - MABO Day

1st July - Coming of the Light

3rd July to 10th July - National NAIDOC week

4th August - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

9th August - International Day of the Worlds’ Indigenous Peoples

3rd September - Indigenous Literacy Day

13th September - Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People


Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Flag

Aboriginal Flag

The Aboriginal flag was recognised under Federal legislation, as was the Torres Strait Islands flag, in July 1995. The Aboriginal flag was first displayed on 12 July 1971, National Aborigines' Day at Victoria Square in Adelaide. It was also used at the 'Tent Embassy' in Canberra in 1972.

Designed by Aboriginal Elder Harold Thomas in 1971, this flag symbolises Aboriginal identity. Yellow represents the sun (giver of life) and yellow ochre. Red represents the red earth (the relationship to the land) and the red ochre used in ceremonies. Black represents the Aboriginal people.

The flag is flown or displayed permanently at Aboriginal centres throughout Australia. It is popularly recognised as the flag of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and should only be flown by other Australians when permission has been granted.

Torres Strait Islander Flag

The flag, designed by Islander Mr Bernard Namok, was adopted in 1992. Green represents the islands, blue the sea and black the local Melanesian people. A stylised dancer's head-dress known as a DARI, and a five pointed star appear on the flag. The star alludes to the five main island zones and is sometimes interpreted as a symbol of the 'Coming of the Light' in Christianity.