All hail the United Ngunnawal Elders Council

johnboy 6 August 2009 38

Comrade Stanhope has announced protocols on who gets to be a traditional owner of the ACT or not.

It’s bad news for the rogue Ngambri with all the spoils going to the “United Ngunnawal Elders Council” (UNEC).

Apparently the protocols also cap the fee for a “Welcome to Country” at $300 as well.

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38 Responses to All hail the United Ngunnawal Elders Council
broadcaster broadcaster 11:06 am 18 Dec 09

I always thought the Ngambri/Ngunnawal were just a sub group of the Ngarigo. I think if there was a genealogical/historical study of the ACT region it may clearly identify this.The two groups may be fighting for recognition over something that belongs to another group (the Ngarigo). And I believe Stanhope knows this, thats why he is reluctant about supporting the research.He knows it will become even more complicated.

Sith Lord of the North Sith Lord of the North 3:32 pm 13 Aug 09

Special G said :

My mum was born here and I have lived here pretty much my whole life. That gives me just as much right to the Canberra land as any other bugger.

And I agree but it is not about that, it’s about historical recognition. It’s a shame that it had to come to the ACT government to publicly state this but it had too and really has nothing to do with anyone else apart from the parties involved.

And if someone hired an idiot to do their cultural awareness program then that’s the fault of the department you were working for, not the idiot in question or the idiots who question every god dam thing.

By the way I love how you make the bracket speak, lotta respect mate!!

Special G Special G 2:43 pm 08 Aug 09

My mum was born here and I have lived here pretty much my whole life. That gives me just as much right to the Canberra land as any other bugger.

Pandy Pandy 11:58 am 08 Aug 09

The Government departments can save money by just acknowledging and thanking who ever. No need to roll out another elder. Or maybe there is a rule that says they must?

I-filed I-filed 10:36 am 08 Aug 09

What I find particularly odd about the “welcome to country” is that it appears to be selective and for show (or $) only. When I attended “cultural awareness training” with a large federal dept a few years ago, there were reps from the Awakal, Bundjalung and a Top End group whose name I don’t recall – but there were no “we’re on Ngunnawal country” formalities or acknowledgements whatsoever. It’s all a nonsense.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 6:31 am 08 Aug 09

I doubt that the $300 payment is seriously at the core of the issue. Members of all of these groups are making good money through a range of other sources that relate to their cultural associations with the ACT region.

I think it really is about formal recognition of who has the right to speak for country. The tensions between these guys goes back to the 1880s – and I doubt that this is going to be resolved any time soon.

Anna Key Anna Key 9:52 pm 07 Aug 09

I-filed said :

$300 bucks for three minutes work …

The tragedy is, hardly anyone pays any attention to it anyway. Or those that do only do so because they are so totally in empathy of the plight of Indigenous Australians (but growing up in Eastern Sydney, they never actually met any).

I-filed I-filed 9:27 pm 07 Aug 09

$300 bucks for three minutes work …

WanniAss WanniAss 9:25 pm 07 Aug 09

Is it a sliding scale from cowboy hat/flanny through to full body paint and didgeroo?

Seriously though, it is a tragedy how much effort is spent arguing with each other when there are some major issues that need resolving. And yes, I am extremely ignorant in the cultural differences.

johnboy johnboy 7:30 pm 07 Aug 09

Anna Key said :

Do they really charge for the welcome to country stuff at the start of any conference etc. And if it is capped at $300, up to what amount did they used to charge?

Well it depended on how good they were at it and to what extent they looked the part.

The money involved is, many suspect, the root cause of the recent dispute.

Anna Key Anna Key 7:28 pm 07 Aug 09

Do they really charge for the welcome to country stuff at the start of any conference etc. And if it is capped at $300, up to what amount did they used to charge?

vg vg 6:53 pm 07 Aug 09

Notice how, whenever you dispute any of the stuff in the above, you are automatically a racist?

I-filed I-filed 6:24 pm 07 Aug 09

I attended a government-funded “culture workshop” at a festival last year, where the Indigenous man who ran the workshop described white Australians – in all seriousness – as “weeds”. He took a bush tucker tour, but didn’t know the Indigenous terms for ANY of the flora. It was very sad – but I didn’t think that excused the “weed” reference. It did occur to me that if he was prepared to espouse such views AT this government-funded workshop, he could be potentially rather nasty in other fora, not just about whites but about rival “language groups”, tribes or whoever.

Sith Lord of the North Sith Lord of the North 5:48 pm 07 Aug 09

mossrocket said :

From the Ngambri Website:

(I am not Ngambri, nor of aboriginal descent, but I feel this clan has been given the short end of the stick – the ACT gov hasn’t shown why they have picked the side they have – I wonder if it is because of the hassle they would face in changing all the freakin signs they’ve put up everywhere….)


We, the younger generation of Ngambri leaders, on behalf of our Ngambri ancestors, elders and descendants, assert the authenticity of our unique Ngambri identity.
The capital city of Australia, Canberra, is derived from the name of our country, Ngambri, and our People: the Ngambri.

While it is true that most Ngambri families have Ngunnawal as well as other ancestry, this does not mean that all those identifying as ‘Ngunnawal’ have rights to Ngambri country or to claim a Ngambri identity.

The term ‘Ngunnawal’ refers to a language that is no longer spoken fluently by any descendants identifying as such and is therefore a superfluous group descriptor.

Ngunnawal was a language once spoken by the neighbouring Wallabalooa (Yass) and Burrooa (Boorowa) peoples. It was not a language spoken by the Ngambri.

Many people claiming to be ‘Ngunnawal’ in modern times have identified with Wiradjuri and other language groups for generations. This is a problem for the Wallabalooa and Burrooa elders to resolve; these people have no connection to the Ngambri.

We humbly request that all references to the ‘Ngunnawal’ are expunged from ACT Government documents, that all ‘Welcome to Ngunnawal Country’ signs are removed, and that the ACT Government’s “United Ngunnawal Elders‘ Council” be disbanded.

We also humbly request that the ACT Government ends the practice of paying non-Ngambri usurpers to conduct ‘Welcome to Country’ addresses.

We, the Ngambri People, will provide the ACT Government with solid evidence of our claims to country, our individual identities, our numbers and other relevant information. We intend to compile a list of traceable descendants of known Ngambri ancestors who lived in the 19th century.

We will then gather together bona fide 21st century descendants and, following a series of internal workshops on revised lore and custom for modern times, we will also advise on the agreements over who can and cannot claim rights to country in the Canberra region.

We ask only for the respect and acknowledgement due to us as bona fide Ngambri descendants and that non-Ngambri Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples now living in Ngambri country respect our protocols just as we respect yours when we visit or reside in your ancestral countries.

We intend to make peace in particular with the bona fide elders of the Wallabalooa, Burrooa and Pajong groups surrounding Ngambri country as well as with Canberrans of all other ancestries.

We support the ACT Chief Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Group as this group represents and discusses issues affecting all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples now living in the ACT.

Like all Canberrans, we wish to make the world a better place for our children and to ensure we maintain our ancestral identity for the sake of future generations.

We believe this is important for all Canberrans because, without the Ngambri, the capital city would truly have no soul.

Thank you.

thankyou ssssssoooo much for the propaganda

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 4:53 pm 07 Aug 09

mossrocket said :

here tis:

No, that’s not it. Try here, post #15.

Pelican Lini Pelican Lini 3:55 pm 07 Aug 09

54-11 said :

Pelican, neither of them can prove anything. Let them sort it out between them and stop causing all this aggravation.

Of course everyone wants to do the right thing by the original occupiers, but if they keep sqabbling like a pack of yobbos, why should we get caught up in it.

Both sides are milking some pretty spurious claims for all they are worth because there’s money in it for them.

No need for personal abuse – shows the moral and factual bankruptcy of your argument.

Numbers man,
I totally disagree with you.
I think what’s at issue goes far beyond money, and even if it isn’t, are you saying only blackfellas have financial and property disputes?
Or maybe you think it’s something they’re not entitled to do.
Where’s your evidence of “spurious claims” and that the two groups are “sqabbling (sic) like a pack of yobbos”?
When people disparage entire groups of people as “useless blow ins” they deserve a (verbal) slap, in my opinion.
The smugness and totally unwarranted feelings of superiority by the likes of you, combined with constant disparaging comments about Aboriginal people is a very unedifying spectacle, and one which casts an ugly stain on what generally is a great nation.
There is no substantive argument to support beliefs we are somehow better than Aboriginal people, we’re exactly the same.
As for the alleged “moral and factual” bankruptcy of my argument — get your hand off it.

mossrocket mossrocket 3:19 pm 07 Aug 09


mossrocket mossrocket 3:18 pm 07 Aug 09

and the cirle is complete

mossrocket mossrocket 3:18 pm 07 Aug 09
mossrocket mossrocket 3:17 pm 07 Aug 09

thanks for that Woody – will do!

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