By Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism
The world-famous Three Sisters landmark at Echo Point, Katoomba, last Sunday officially became the 98th place in NSW to be declared of cultural, social and historic significance to the Aboriginal community.
The area down into the valley below the Three Sisters has traditionally been used as a ceremonial space with legend telling how the Three Sisters came to be the land formations they are today. The area is highly valued by the Aboriginal peoples of the Gundangurra, Wiradjuri, Tharawal and Darug nations.
BMLOT chairman Randall Walker attended an official ceremony to recognise the location as an Aboriginal Place.
Aunty Sharyn Halls of Gundungurra Aboriginal Heritage Association shared a Welcome to Country. She and Aunty Merle Williams worked closely with Glen Meade of NPWS to achieve the Aboriginal Place status.
Mulyang Dance Troupe of Gundungurra Tribal Council (Aunty Sharon Brown) delivered a traditional dance performance and State Environment and Heritage Minister Robyn Parker MP attended the announcement. (Ms Parker also provided a foreword to the landmark publication, Aboriginal Cultural Experience Guide, for the six Aboriginal language groups of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.)
Other notable attendees were Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill and Councillors Daniel Myles and Don McGregor; Blue Mountains State MP Roza Sage; new NPWS Blue Mountains regional manager Alan Henderson and other NPWS representatives emcee Glen Meade, Richard Kingswood and Jacqueline Reid; and David Holmes Chris Cannell from BMATA.
Formal proceedings were held at Waradah Aboriginal Centre, where owner Farid Nayer employs mainly local Aboriginal dancers.