Shared values and experiences
The first meeting of the Worimi Conservation Lands (WCL) Sustainable Camping Project group was held on Saturday 2 April.
Stakeholders, Aboriginal owners from the WCL Board of Management and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service staff got together at Murrook Cultural Centre for an introductory session about the project before heading out onto the beach for a site visit.
The group discussed what they valued most about the camping experience on WCL. Appreciation of the beauty of the natural environment, and the opportunity to share this unique beach camping experience with friends and family was quickly established as common ground amongst the group.
NPWS Worimi rangers presented information about the Worimi cultural values of the WCL, and discussed the occurrence, location and changing exposure of Worimi sites and artefacts. Aboriginal owner members of the WCL board discussed the unique challenges they face in ensuring protection of their cultural sites and values – their highest priority – while also providing ongoing access for visitors, which is another important priority.
There was some discussion about the range of issues to be addressed or overcome if camping is to be sustainable, with the WCL board’s vision for the park ‘protect, respect, connect’ to be used a cultural filter when making decisions to ensure protection of Worimi cultural values.