Sacred Site Damage at Port Stephens

Hi Folk,

A very Happy New Year to all, like many Aborigine folk I have watched very closely the proceedings in Tasmania over many months and much editorials plus T.V. items on this most important issue.

Like those Tasmanian Aborigines we Aborigines on this main land have also raised many similar issues that resulted in the destruction of Sacred Cultural Traditional sites such as our burial sites and carvings now controlled by NSW National Parks of NPWS who are not doing recognised as doing a capable work ?..

Let me run this past you folk, for a numbers of years I have repeatedly sought justice from the NSW government over the destruction of many burials of our folk at a well known Aborigine Cultural burial site at Soldiers Point, Port Stephens, I and many other Aborigines of our Woirimi Nation have known about these burial sites used by our ancestors over a number of years, my Dad a Tribal Elder had maintained his young sister-in-law`s grave site in this locality he had erected a little picket fence around Beatrice. Maher`s burial site she was my mother`s elder sister born 1902 died in 1005 so Aunty Beatrice was only 3 yrs old.

Folk, this whole area being controlled by our descendants was once given as a Grant to Cpt CROMERTY that person who was responsible for transporting British Soldiers I believe to Africa at a point in history, he was give our Soldiers Point land as a grant, when the Port Stephens Council bought it they destroyed our many grave sites and turned it into a Council Caravan Park, their employees destroyed the picket fence around our Beatrice MAHER`s small burial site, today a slab of cement covers her site it is the Park shower and laundry block.

Not only that this Council allowed a two storied yacht club to be built on top of a DATES grave site another of our relative, plus a very large Shell Midden was totally destroyed when this Council built the now tar sealed road they call Ridgeway in recognition of William { King Billy} Ridgeway my grand uncle who lived nearby with my grandparents our Russell and Dates families all lived in the area, but were never consulted ever when this Council built this Caravan Park.

So folk, I am convinced these injustices will continue on until we Aborigines become a united voice, then we may be recognised perhaps ?..

Until we achieve this nothing will change for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and our children who follow in our footsteps ever, we must think as one voice to obtain justice I believe.

Kindest regards

Les Ridgeway{Snr}
Family Historian.

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