Connecting people to people and people to place...

• Central Coast, NSW

Aboriginal Culture

We acknowledge the Darkinjung people as the original occupants of this land, and pay our respects to their Elders, who were and are the Guardians of the Land.

The local Aboriginal community is deeply involved in the planning and presentation of the 5 Lands Walk.

They will present important ceremonies and tell you the stories and share their cultural heritage. That will help you to connect to the people and place of each Land.

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What's on - where & when?

The Aboriginal people of the 5 Lands will be present throughout the 5 Lands Walk sharing their cultural understanding of the country, its environment and its spiritual significance to us all.

But they have selected North Avoca as their place to participate in ceremony and cultural activities, and invite you share in them and learn from them.

So take plenty of time to:

Aboriginal Ceremony, Culture & Story

There will be a Welcome to Country at the Awakening Ceremony at Kincumba Mountain prior to the 5 Lands Walk. This will welcome everyone to this Country.

The Message Stick will be carried to each Land and the message read at each land to strengthen our connections and the spiritual values in life.

The Aboriginal Action committee of the 5 Lands Walk is now planning the full Aboriginal program for

The Message Stick

Jacob Smeaton, 5 Lands Walk Messenger for 2019
The message stick is an important symbol used in the traditions of Aboriginal people. It connects everyone in times of great ceremony to bring people together and celebrate the sacred stories of life.

These stories passed down generation after generation from the time when the great Creator Spirit Baiyami stepped down from the Mirrabooka, the Milky Way, onto Mount Yango, some 75 kms northwest of the 5 Lands. As the sacred lores were given, the message told that we always continue to celebrate our ancestors of Earth and Creation, remembering those journeys through time which give us the life we enjoy to this day.

The 5 Lands Walk message stick, created by Gavi Duncan
The preservation and protection of our environments, the kinship and the relationships of our families and peoples, acknowledgments and respect which in turn creates a balance between all living things.

We send the Message Stick through our communities for the gatherings, to come together to strengthen those connections and the spiritual values in life.

As the sacred lores were given, the message told that we always continue to celebrate our ancestors of Earth and Creation, remembering those journeys through time which give us the life we enjoy to this day.

will mark the year that a Message Stick is carried through the 5 Lands on the day of Walk. It is carried by its Guardian, an Aboriginal Youth, representing both the youth of the Central Coast and the Aboriginal community.

Aimee Young, the 2014 Guardian handed the Message Stick to the 2015 Guardian, Claudia Kent, at the 2015 Launch ceremony on 13 April. It was Claudia's responsibility to bring the message stick to the 5 Lands Walk on 20 June 2015, carry it to all the 5 Lands and read the message.

Here's what Claudia said when she took on this responsibility:

"To all Aboriginal elders and people present today, and our other distinguished guests – it’s a great honour to be chosen to be the custodian of the message stick on behalf of Aboriginal youth for the 10th anniversary of the Five Lands Walk.

This year will be my 5th time doing the Five Lands Walk, and I’m so proud to be carrying the message stick through Darkinjung country. Whilst my family may not be originally from this land, they moved to the area almost 90 years ago and have never left, so I do see this as my country.

Aboriginal culture is heard through our ears, kept in our minds, and held in our hearts forever. I hope to represent you well at the walk and celebrate all of the participating cultures that help to make our nation so great."

The 5 Lands Walk Message
Country connects us – did we forget?
Treat it gently – did we forget?
Softly tread the path – did we forget?
We bring change – did we forget?
We walk the same path with all our differences
The path that speaks to us all
Whispers from the stars, the fire and the mountains
Through the streams and rivers and across the seas
The path that speaks to us all
Whispers through the casuarinas
The grasses, the palms, the bush
The sand, the soil, the rocks and stones
It speaks to us all
Speaks softly to us all, if we listen
We are country
Let’s not forget.

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The Awakening

The Awakening is a traditional Aboriginal ritual that holds the spirituality for the 5 Lands Walk. It is a dawn ceremony usually held one week before the 5 Lands Walk at Kincumba Mountain, which is of significant cultural and spiritual value to the local Aboriginal community.

Sharing food is a tradition in almost all cultures on Earth, including in Aboriginal culture. So those who attend the Awakening bring some food to share after the ceremony.

"We look to the “Morning Star, the first light, and remember Baiyami and Gyian the Whale’s journey from the Mirrabooka (the Milky Way) to spread the kinship system among all living things - as Baiyami descended upon the empty land he crushed the mountain of Yango and suddenly a light appeared in the eastern sky, it was the birth of the Morning Star” (Darkinjung Elder Gavi Duncan)

"The Awakening reminds us of what is required to be reconciled to one another and to Mother Earth" (The Reverend Dr. Jonathon Inkpin).

The Awakening Ceremony will be held on Kincumba Mountain. You're welcome to join us - we'll be gathering from around 5.45am, with the greeting of the morning star when it rises around 7.00am.

The ceremony takes place at the important women's site at the summit of Kincumba Mountain, at the kiosk building. Just turn up on the morning. You can find it by following Kincumber St, Kincumber, past Kincumber High and Holy Cross schools, to the turn round bay, but keep going through the gate into Kincumba Mountain Reserve. Then follow the dark, narrow but sealed road up the hill for about 2 kms. The kiosk is the on your left; it's the only building up there.

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About the Aboriginal Community

The Aboriginal people are the first people of Australia and have been living on the Central Coast for thousands of years. Evidence of that occupation is in the stories they still tell and in the rocks, middens and occupation sites that can still be clearly seen today.

Most importantly, it's a living culture. A large population of Aboriginal people make the Central Coast their home where they live lives as modern Australia citizens who proudly celebrate their rich cultural heritage.

The culture of the Aboriginal people is the oldest continuing living culture in the world. And the Central Coast is home to one of the richest sources of ancient artworks in the world with literally thousands of rock carvings, or "petroglyphs", on the coast and hinterland.

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