Recognition for Three Sisters

A three-year campaign to have the Three Sisters declared an Aboriginal Place culminated in a ceremony at the Katoomba site on Sunday.

Aunty Sharyn Halls, secretary of the Gundungurra Aboriginal Heritage Association, said the declaration was important for indigenous people in the Mountains.

“It means everything to us because it’s recognising the Aboriginal people of the Blue Mountains and their cultural values.”

She said the association had started the nomination process back in 2011 and the declaration encompassed not just the Three Sisters but the surrounding area.

“It’s 100 hectares. It goes down to the valley floor as well. It’s also about the landscape around the Three Sisters,” she said.

Aunty Sharyn spoke at Sunday’s ceremony, which was also attended by the Heritage Minister Robyn Parker and Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage.

Ms Parker said the declaration recognised the special cultural, social and historic significance of the site to the Aboriginal community. 

“The Three Sisters are significant to Aboriginal culture as a mythical place of legends and stories,” she said. 

“The area down into the valley below was used as a ceremonial space with legend telling how the Three Sisters came to be the land formations commanding a view of the valley in traditional times. 

“The area is highly valued by the Aboriginal peoples of the Gundungurra, Wiradjuri, Tharawal and Darug nations for its majestic land formations, incredible views across the ranges and down into the valley to the Kedumba River below.” 

Mrs Sage said more than 600,000 people visited the site annually.

“By declaring these significant lands as Aboriginal Places, we recognise and acknowledge that Aboriginal culture is living and continuing, and that the connection of Aboriginal people to the land and culture is immensely important to their wellbeing and future,” Mrs Sage said. 

The Three Sisters are Meehni, the tallest at 922 metres, Wimlah (918 metres) and Gunnedoo (906 metres).

Waradah Aboriginal dancers perform at the ceremony to declare the Three Sisters an Aboriginal Place on Sunday.

Waradah Aboriginal dancers perform at the ceremony to declare the Three Sisters an Aboriginal Place on Sunday.


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