YOUR VIEWS...

This page has been created to show that the CCA appreciate your personal views. We, however, are totally non-biased regarding anything you read here and in no way does it reflect any views the CCA has.

If you would like to include anything to go here please email it to Steve - President CCA.

The CCA is well aware that the Winney Bay walkway project is the subject of much debate amongst the local community with a range of views being expressed both for and against. The CCA has not taken a position regarding the project but we consider that our role is and has been to provide opportunities for people from both sides of the debate to air their views and to facilitate discussion and communication. We have consistently lobbied the Central Coast Council and 5 Lands Walk committee to make as much information as possible available so that each person can make up their own mind regarding this project.

It is in this spirit that we publish here two differing views from respected Aboriginal elders regarding the Winney Bay walkway.  The statements are from John Oates and Phil Bligh and published with permission. 

Phil Bligh’s statement is contained in a letter to Con Ryan, President, 5 Lands Walk, September 2018.  John Oates’ statement was written as an open letter to the community at large.

WINNEY BAY STATEMENT – JOHN OATES

05 OCT 2018

 

My name is John Oates.

 

I am an Aboriginal man, proud descendant of the Ngiyampaa Wailwan nation and resident of Copacabana  where I have lived on the highest block of Bulbararing Headland (right near the lookout) since 1985. My three daughters were born and raised here, this headland is our Home. I am totally opposed to the concrete and steel constructions proposed for the cliff top walk second stage for a number of reasons. 

  • There is no recognition for the  true cultural significance of Bulbararing, “The biggest most powerful headland” in this part of the world; a headland that connects everyone to the powerful relationships of Mother Earth, The Moon, the Sun the Stars and The Ocean, not just the whales and not just for one day a year.

  • There are already two lookouts on the headland. Why not improve wheel chair and disabled access around these vantage points?

  • Concrete and steel paths and lookouts are an urban interpretation of a coastal walk ie Bondi to Bronte. The Winney Bay walk is a coastal walk through bushland where the Earth meets the Ocean in a bush land setting, a setting that should be enjoyed in the most natural state so that people can feel Mother Earth under their feet, not walk along concrete paths focussed on their phones or cameras etc.

 

These are just a few concerns raised for consideration and humbly presented by some one who loves this place, who has lived on Bulbararing Headland for 33 years and who calls it Home. 

Earlier on this year I asked the Aboriginal  Ancestors for help and was gifted this insight.

One thing we have forgotten  is that Women, Children and Men have walked on  this sacred, most powerful headland of Bulbararing for thousands of years; the tracks have always been here but they have been neglected and almost lost. 

Another thing to remember is that our Ancestors here took responsibility for the care of Mother Earth on Bulbararing by ensuring that all the plants, animals and birds had the best environment , free of weeds in a well maintained natural coastal forest kept clear by the use of cool burning fires at appropriate cyclic  intervals. This has not been done for a long time. 

 

As the current custodians of this place  we don't need to desecrate Bulbararing by pouring concrete to create tracks. 

 

We need to restore the bushland by eradicating the weeds and introduced plants.  The natural Bush will be Reborn. Mother Earth will then open the Country for our eyes to once again see the Ancestral walking trails. 

 

So, there is an urgent need to clean up the weeds and regenerate the Bush to as close to its natural state as can be determined Before any other action is considered here on Bulbararing.

 

Lets not desecrate our headland anymore. 

 

Lets work together in a frame work of Love and care for our Home in the Old ways, the ways of our Ancestors, not in an intrusive insensitive way with concrete, stainless steel bridges and lookouts that scar the land and insult Mother Earth.

 

John Oates

In January 2018 John was awarded an Australia Day Award by Central Coast Council for his contribution to Culture on the Central Coast.

CREATION STORY – PHIL BLIGH

14 SEPT 2018

 

I’ve always referred to the 5 Lands Walk as a practical expression of reconciliation, a sentiment shared by all current members of the 5LW Aboriginal Committee. More Aboriginal people from the Central Coast, as well as Sydney and other NSW townships, now share this view and are joining us in celebration of our culture each year at the 5 Lands Walk event. Some even join us at The Gathering at Mt Finchley (overlooking the sacred Mount Yengo, Wollombi) and The Awakening Ceremony at Kincumba Mountain. Both traditional Aboriginal ceremonies are held at times of great spiritual significance before the actual 5 Lands Walk event in June.

 

We get our inspiration for the 5 Lands Walk message at The Gathering where we retell our creation stories and affirm our relationship to the sky world (Mirrabooka). The message is spoken for the first time at The Awakening where we bless the 5 Lands Walk and greet the Morning Star (the First Light). The ancestral origins of most people we share our culture and spirituality with on these special occasions extends overseas. We all share our unique stories in the spirit of reconciliation and healing, with the intent to connect in a meaningful way with each other and the spirit of this land on which we now all live together.

 

Both the bridge and lookout contained in the plans of the 5LW Cliff Top Walk, Copacabana, are designed in the likeness of the whale totem for Darkinjung country (now known as the Central Coast). Together the two symbols represent the creation story of Ghiong the Whale who came from the sky world with Baiame (The Great Creator Spirit) in the Dreaming. Baiame summoned the spirit of Yhi (Mother) to create everything and Ghiong bestowed the kinship system (the rules for life) on the people. When creation was complete, Baiame returned to the sky world where he resides on the other side of the Morning Star (the First Light), Guria (or Guthie Guthie) the Rainbow Serpent returned to Mother and Ghiong the Whale stayed behind and journeyed out to sea.

 

Each year at winter solstice the 5 Lands Walk invites us all to share in the spirit of Ghiong. On their annual journey north, the humpback whales remind us of our responsibilities to Mother and our duty to care for each other. The bridge and the lookout are important to us in that they would stand as a symbol of reconciliation and hope for a shared future together in which all our stories are told. Equal with, the Aboriginal icons would stand beside Captain Cook Lookout - both representations together making a statement of reconciliation and provoking the question, “how do we move forward together from here?”

 

Phil Bligh

© 2018 Copacabana Community Association Inc.