ABORIGINAL STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT, WOLGAN VALLEY CONSTRUCTION
Cranbrook School is developing a property in Wolgan Valley, NSW, to provide a short-medium stay learning facility for teachers and young male students. As part of the campus development project, Balarinji conducted Aboriginal community engagement to ensure meaningful local Aboriginal community involvement. The project’s objectives included integrating a profound respect for land and local Aboriginal understanding into the construction of the site, and the educational programs delivered in the locality.
Balarinji conducted an Aboriginal heritage survey of the site together with preliminary site visits and discussions with local Traditional Owners from Mingaan Aboriginal Corporation.
During site visits, Balarinji completed due diligence and created opportunities for Wiradjuri Traditional Owners, Helen Riley and Patsy Riley to identify Aboriginal sites of significance. This allowed the development team to better understand the cultural significance of the site, and proceed with the development and construction in a respectful manner. Cultural protocols were observed, allowing the Wiradjuri voice to be heard. A good working relationship has developed with Wiradjuri Traditional Owners, Balarinji and Cranbrook. The local Elders are supportive of the development and feel they gained an understanding of Cranbrook’s objectives through the engagement process.