Cultural immersion for Greater Sydney Landcare

Learning about the history and traditions of our First Nations peoples

Cultural immersion for Greater Sydney Landcare

Learning about the history and traditions of our First Nations peoples

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

Landcarers across Greater Sydney are working with varying degrees of knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and land management techniques. There is a need and also a great thirst amongst the Landcare and Bushcare communities in Greater Sydney to learn and better understand Aboriginal culture. This will promote more respectful and culturally sensitive engagement from the Landcare and Bushcare community.

The solution

The Greater Sydney Regional Landcare Coordinator used a "Working Together" small grant to fund a cultural immersion day, facilitated by Den Barber from Yarrabin Cultural Connections. Den designed a program for a day in the lower Hunter Valley that included visiting and interpreting several Aboriginal sites, a smoking ceremony and a dance performance.

The impact

It was a popular and successful event - 29 people attended and the waiting list was almost as long. There was plenty of discussion that was both informative and, at times, challenging. All who participated found it valuable with about half the participants taking something away that they could use with their own Landcare group. A memorable part of the day was when our group was unexpectedly denied entry to a site we had planned to visit. This was confronting and provided a moment of reflection on the fact that many Aboriginal people are not able to access their Country. The day's impact was personal, here are some reflections from different participants:

"Having an improved understanding of the relationships of people to country and the politics around it will help me in participating in conversations about it. I will also be more confident in having those conversations."

"It made me think more about how I can incorporate recognition of local language, significant places and knowledge into Landcare events and activities."

"We have reminded our work colleagues at a bushland meeting to connect with the bush, respect the land we have the privilege to look after...."


Different perspectives from the Aboriginal people that were present throughout the day was valuable. Den had two co-presenters and Ciaron Dunn, the Aboriginal Landcare Coordinator from the Cooks River Alliance, all generously shared their knowledge and views.

This day was just the beginning of a learning journey and many participants reported that they will go away and continue learning.

The “Working Together” Aboriginal Communities Engagement Program is an initiative made possible by the NSW Landcare Program. A collaboration of Local Land Services NSW and Landcare NSW Inc. supported by the NSW Government.

Key facts

  • 29 Landcarers and Bushcarers spent the day immersed in Aboriginal culture
  • Participants were inspired to keep learning after the event
  • The community would like more events like this one

Project Partners