Aboriginal burial and camp sites near Brewarrina undergo fencing and erosion control works

A number of major Aboriginal burial sites and campsites on a western NSW station have received fencing and matting to help preserve them for the future.

Western Local Land Services (LLS) worked with landholders and stakeholders including the Yetta Dhinnakkal Correctional Centre to protect the sites on ‘Templestowe Station’.

The project, which resulted in several sites in Ngemba Traditional Country being protected, took place 40 kilometres south of Brewarrina in the western region.

The project was particularly important to the Ngemba community and ‘Templestowe Station’ owners, Garrie and Rita Turnbull, after skeletal remains were unearthed from years of erosion, and since colonialism, vehicles, stock and animal movement across the once sand mounds and now claypan country.

In addition to the skeletal remains, the sites also consisted of hearths (ground ovens) and rock scatters (stone tools).

After discussions between the Turnbulls and Western Local Land Services, it was decided the best way to protect the sites against the impacts of vehicles, livestock, native and pest animals was through the construction of suitable fencing. To assist in preventing further erosion, the sites of skeletal remains were also covered with protective matting filled with soil to encourage the growth of plant species. 

Through the fencing and mesh works that were carried out, two 80 metre x 80 metre sites and two single burial sites have been preserved.

Western LLS Aboriginal communities officers Blackie Gordon and Guy Gibbs were pleased with the outcome of the project. 

“It was great that everyone was so passionate about this project and speaking as Aboriginal men, you take a lot of pride and satisfaction away when you’re working on country and protecting such significant sites,” Mr Gordon said. 

“To get the boys involved from Yetta Dhinnakkal Correctional Centre was great and we know they really enjoyed being involved in the project.

“It was great for me and others to transfer some traditional knowledge onto the next generation.” 

Landholders and community members that know of an Aboriginal or historical site that they would be interested in protecting, should contact their nearest Western Local Land Services Office.