CONNECTING TO OUR CULTURE
Rich in cultural artefacts, middens and the remains of our ancestors, these lands connect current and future generations of our people to our culture. Protecting these sites is a priority for those who care for these lands. Please respect our culture and help protect these sites by only driving or riding in designated areas.– Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management, 2015
The coastal location, unique landform and diverse environments of the Worimi Conservation Lands provided rich resources for the Worimi people. They had direct access to marine resources from the ocean, estuarine resources from Tilligerry Creek, forest resources from the area between beach and estuary, and stone resources from neighbouring headlands for tool making.
Respect, protect and connect
Areas where there is material evidence of the Worimi people’s past use of this landscape are commonly referred to as Aboriginal sites, and are protected by law under the NPW Act. They are important to Aboriginal people for social, spiritual, historical, and commemorative reasons.
Many Aboriginal people have deep spiritual and emotional ties to Aboriginal sites, and they can also play an important role in maintaining culture and connections to land.
The entire WCL contains hundreds of sites that are significant to Worimi people whose relationship with this area is abundantly evident in the extent and diversity of cultural material present throughout the WCL and adjoining areas such as Birubi Point.
The most visible cultural material present in the WCL is the extensive shell deposits called middens. These sites are dominated by pipi shell and some also contain mud whelk and cockle shells. Middens can also contain stone artefacts from tool making and bird, fish and animal bone.
Typically, the middens occur as a mound capped with packed pipi shell but can comprise scattered whole or fragmented shell.
The dynamic nature of the landscape affects the visibility of these cultural sites. Depending on local sand movement, the majority of the packed shell comprising the mound may be buried with only the top layer of shell exposed and level with the ground. Sometimes the mound is fully exposed and standing above the surface. Often charcoal is present, and more rarely fire hearths and associated cooking stones occur.
There are also burial sites recorded in the WCL. Burial sites are highly significant and it is difficult to predict where they may occur in the landscape. It is possible that burials may occur in association with some of the midden sites.