our unique aboriginal heritage
The Ballina Coast and Hinterland is the traditional Nyangbul Country of the Bundjalung nation. The Nyangbul people hold a unique place in our shire.
Nyangbul custodianship of the Ballina Shire area dates back many thousands of generations. Together with all Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, the Nyangbul people are part of the oldest and continuing culture in the world.
The Ballina Shire has important Bundjalung culture heritage sites and areas that contribute to our unique history as a place. Heritage sites and areas remain important to the identity and culture of the shire's Aboriginal community today. Appreciating the importance of the historic and contemporary landscape to the shire's Aboriginal people enhances all our experience of the shire.
Our Unique Aboriginal Heritage
The Shire has important Bunjalung cultural heritage sites and areas that contribute to our unique history as a place. Heritage sites and areas remain important to the identity and culture of the shire's Aboriginal community today. Appreciating the importance of the historic and contemporary landscape to the shire's Aboriginal people enhances all our experience of the shire.
Reconciliation Tunnel Murals - Black Head Angels Beach, Ballina
Aboriginal murals in the Reconciliation Tunnel at Angels Beach depict the story of the Three brothers - Yarbirri, Mamoon and Burrung who were the ancestral founders of the Bunjalung Nation. The murals portray scenes from the customary lives of the original inhabitants of the beach whose direct descendants are now Traditional Custodians.
East Ballina Aboriginal Place
Find out more about our local Aboriginal Heritage through the interpretive material located along the East Ballina Aboriginal Place section of the Coastal Recreational Path which traverses 6kms of the Ballina Shire's coastline. The path contains interpretive signage recognising the Aboriginal cultural values of this iconic coastline. The trail head begins at Angels Beach, East Ballina and stretches North to Sharpes Beach. This location takes in part of the recently declared East Ballina Aboriginal Place, under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. An unformalised path continues to Pat Morton Lookout at Lennox Head.
Enquiries regarding Aboriginal sites and places in the Ballina Shire can also be directed to JALI Local Aboriginal Land Council on telephone 02 6686 7055.
East Ballina Massacre Site
The Black Head, Angels Beach and Flat Rock area is a significant sacred historic, cultural and heritage Aboriginal site.
A memorial to all Bundjalung people who lost their lives in the East Ballina massacre in 1853/54 is located at East Ballina along the Aboriginal Cultural Ways path. The memorial is located approx. 100 metres along the path from the northern end of Shelly Beach Road.
Lennox Head Aboriginal Area
The Lennox Head Aboriginal Area, located within the village of Lennox Head is a reserve approximately 0.3 hectares in size and was gazetted in 1972 to protect the cultural heritage values of the Ceremonial Ring. The Aboriginal Area is located within the area covered by the Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council
The Ceremonial Ring was a special place used by the Bunjalung Aboriginal people to initiate boys of the tribe. The Ceremonial Ring consists of a raised ring on sandy ground and is among one of the best preserved coastal ceremonial grounds in NSW.
The Ceremonial Ring is of significant cultural heritage value to the local Aboriginal community. It is also listed on the Register of the National Estate.
The soils within the Aboriginal Area are erosion prone if disturbed.
Ceremonial Rings on sandy soils are fragile and we request visitors respect the sensitivity of the site. In addition, for cultural reasons it is inappropriate for visitors to walk over the Ceremonial Ring.
Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service