Working alongside Context Landscape Architecture, Balarinji was engaged by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to assist with the integration of the local Aboriginal narrative throughout the design development phase of the master planning of the Nepean River Parkland precinct. 


Dyarubbin is the Darug language word for the Nepean River. It was the life source of Western Sydney, which was traditionally a flood plain, and as such was carefully managed by the Darug and Gangangarra people. The river is culturally significant and is connected to local Dreaming and Creation stories. The Dyarubbin itself and the surrounding Country was formed by the Great Eel Creator. 


A key objective for the design of the Nepean River Parkland precinct was to draw from the locally connected Aboriginal community to map the local narrative and consider ways to integrate this into the landscape design. 


For this project, Balarinji employed its innovative Cultural Design Principles methodology, a framework that delivers design that deepens sense of place and understanding of the Indigenous context. 


Balarinji undertook a series of intensive one-on-one interviews with locally connected Aboriginal knowledge holders to inform a Cultural Design Principles framework. This report highlighted opportunities for a design to deepen the sense of Place and provide an understanding of the Aborginal cultural, physical and spiritual context of the site.