The Aboriginal Heritage Office moved to its present location in March 2008 after 8 years of being nomads. Essentially we worked out of small, cramped, not the most desirable office locations. In the last instance our office was housed in a building set to be demolished. Throughout these eight years we could not invite the public in to our space as we barely had enough for ourselves. So now we’ve moved to Sailors Bay Rd in Northbridge and we are very happy with our new digs. The new location allows for us to have a Keeping Place for repatriated artefacts as well as contemporary Indigenous art and cultural objects. Our present location also allows us to welcome school groups and other visitors with a small, intimate museum on site, open for spectators but displayed with respect to the ancestors.
The Office has been busy at the Whale Engraving at Balls Head recently. The old Coal Loader site is being cleaned up and it was seen as an opportunity to improve the drainage around the whale and also try to find the other engravings that were depicted on 1899 site recordings. Several ‘deity’ figures have been uncovered and work is continuing to see if the ‘school of fish’ engravings can be located.
Visiting Documentary Maker
Recently our Office hosted Canadian independent researcher, Stacey-Ann Wilson, who is currently working on an independent documentary on Indigenous peoples in Canada, with a look at Australia, as well. As there are hundreds of language groups in Australia, she has focused her documentary on groups in New South Wales. As a result, the Aboriginal Heritage Office was able to share our work and the cultural heritage sites with her as the AHO and our programs are quite unique to Australia. The documentary is intended to highlight the history of Aboriginal Peoples in the Americas and Oceania, highlighting the process and consequences of conquest, colonisation and the continued struggles for recognition and survival of Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal worldviews.
“Your work protecting Aboriginal cultural sites in Northern Sydney is highlighted as part of the continual process of negotiating Aboriginal recognition in Australia, which ultimately serves as part of the cultural survival of Indigenous peoples,” affirmed Stacey-Ann.
The project is still in the production stage as filming continues in Canada, in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Once complete, the doco will be pre-screened with our Office, stay tuned for updates.