The map above shows the extent of peoples using the Bundjalung - Yugambeh languages [after Crowley 1978]. Dialect and group names are not shown.

The social connection of Aboriginal people across Australia can be expressed in a number of different ways.

One way is through language, and the Bundjalung people of north-eastern New South Wales recognise their connection with each other through a base language known as the Bundjalung-Yugambeh Language Chain.

The region of this common base language extends from Grafton and the Clarence River in the south, west as far as Tenterfield and the Great Dividing Range, up to Warwick in south-east Queensland, and east across to the coast around about the Logan River (south of Brisbane).

This is a large geographic area which contained between 11 and 21 dialects, not all of which are spoken today.

Descendants of the ‘old people’ (as ancestors are respectfully referred to within an Aboriginal community), within this region generally continue to recognise and maintain their common language, social and spiritual connections.

Here around Ballina, the traditional Aboriginal custodians of this country are the Nyangbul People (also spelt Nhangbul) a cultural sub-group and linguistic dialect group of the greater regional Bundjalung-Yugambeh Language Chain. The Nyangbul language was first documented in 1892.

Many white people in positions of authority over Aboriginal people saw the continued use of native language as a threat and as Lois Cook recalled in an interview with Uncle Douglas Cook in 1983, people spent 'jail time' as a result.

In the same conversation Lois and Uncle Douglas also spoke about the kinship ties that guided Aboriginal society.