Aboriginal Community Shares Knowledge on Artefacts uncovered on site

Local Aboriginal community members have come together on the cultural lands of Brinja Yuin, at the site of the new $260 million Eurobodalla Regional Hospital to share their knowledge about the Aboriginal artefacts and items uncovered during archaeological investigations for the project.
Amanda Bock, Health Infrastructure Executive Director of Regional and Rural projects said around 600 artefacts and items have been unearthed during the archaeological works, showing how Aboriginal people lived and worked on this land thousands of years ago.
“Traditional owners and Elders along with the Cobowra Local Aboriginal Land Council and other Registered Aboriginal Parties have been working closely with the archaeologists as part of the excavation process to identify artefacts and share their cultural knowledge,” Ms Bock said.
“Listening and collaborating with the local Aboriginal community as we uncover these items has provided a wonderful opportunity to understand and learn more about the region’s rich cultural history, and we are grateful for their generosity in giving their time and sharing their culture and stories.”

 Ashleigh Keevers-Eastman, senior heritage consultant at Biosis, said four members of the Biosis team and eight Aboriginal site and cultural officers have been working at the salvage site each day.
“Over four weeks, the team have been involved in digging and sieving through approximately 100sqm of the site, which equates to around 100 salvage pits,” Ms Keevers-Eastman said.
“To date we’ve discovered hundreds of culturally significant items including many stone tools, which shows how Aboriginal people lived and worked on this land thousands of years ago.”

Brinja Yuin / Gadu Elder, Maureen Davis said the wider Aboriginal community from across the Eurobodalla attended a special gathering on site to hear first-hand from heritage consultants, Biosis, and Brinja Yuin original custodians about the work being conducted and the early discoveries.
“The information session was a great opportunity for our local Aboriginal community to gain a better understanding of the archaeological process happening on site, and importantly to have their questions answered by both the experts and knowledge holders,” Ms Davis said.
“The discovery of the artefacts shows clear evidence that our people lived and raised their families here. They travelled along this section of the land, taking in the sea coast south of the Moruya River to the Wagonga River at Kianga, extending some five miles inland across the landscape.”
The project team and archaeologists are continuing to work with Registered Aboriginal Parties to determine what happens next with the discovered items, with archaeological work expected to be completed by the end of the month.
Ms Bock said the new hospital is a pilot project for the NSW Government Architect’s Connecting with Country Framework and thanked the local Aboriginal community for their ongoing contribution to the design of the hospital to ensure it is a safe and welcoming health facility for the community.
“The participation of the community throughout the planning and design phase is helping to ensure this new hospital becomes a place of healing and wellbeing – where all members of our community feel safe and welcome,” Ms Bock said.
Construction of the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital is due for completion in 2025.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Land, the tribal groups that make up the Yuin Nation, on which the event took place and on which the new Eurobodalla Hospital will be built.
For more information about the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital development please visit the project website: www.eurobodallahs.health.nsw.gov.au