This report presents the results of research and liaison work related to reviewing our existing cultural awareness programs. Its from this work that we got this website going and have developed it further!

The work was carried out by Sustainable Futures Australia (SFA), supported by the Arakwal Cultural Awareness Project Working Group (ACAPWG),which was established as part of the project. This group included representatives of the Arakwal community and Arakwal Aboriginal Corporation (AAC); Cape Byron Marine Park Authority (CBMPA); Cape Byron Conservation Reserve/National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS); and Sustainable Futures Australia. It continues to be a really positive relationship working together.

The report provides recommendations and next steps for us to develop an improved and integrated Arakwal Cultural Awareness Program (CAP) for our own people and the wider community,  including:

• the Cultural Awareness Working Group to keep supporting ongoing development, implementation, support for, and review of the CAP.

• updating and improving existing cultural awareness programs, including suggested changes and inclusions made in the report.

• developing new activities and events that help connect people to Country and increase awareness about Arakwal culture.

• integrating activities and programs into an annual events calendar with seasonal-themed events that encompass cultural activities and help get people back onto Country and into their culture.

• establishing a strong website presence to assist in connecting people and providing a platform for cultural information, learning and awareness

• preparing a strategic plan including prioritised strategies and actions.

The Project established a Vision, Learning Goals and Guiding Principles for our Cultural Awareness Programs.

Our Vision:  Living Arakwal culture

We want to see Country how it used to be. We want to continue to look after Country and want it to look after us. We want our people to be back on Country, caring for and using Country like we always have. We want to share parts of our culture with the wider community so they learn about and respect Country like we do. We want everybody to work together to keep Country clean and healthy“.

(Aunties Lorna Kelly, Dulcie Nicholls and Linda Vidler, 2003)

Our Learning Goals

1) Invigorate our people’s interest in Arakwal Culture and Country and living healthy lifestyles.

2) Ensure appropriate sharing and managing of cultural knowledge within our Arakwal community.

3) Increase awareness in the wider community about Arakwal living culture, encouraging respect and appreciation for Country and our people.

4) Provide employment and training opportunities for Arakwal people based on our cultural knowledge, experience and skills.

 Our Guiding Principles

• Support and strengthen the values of Knowing Country, Respecting Country, Looking After Country in our people and wider community

• Provide real cultural learning outcomes for each age group and stage of life of our people and for our men and women.

• Maintain and strengthen good relationships within Arakwal community, with other Aboriginal people, and the wider community.

• Develop custodians of our culture, and champions and mentors for our youth and community to learn from.

The work was carried out and report prepared by Sustainable Futures Australia for the Arakwal Cultural Awareness Rejuvenation Project partners; the Arakwal, Bundjalung People of Byron Bay; and Cape Byron Marine Park Authority. The project was carried out in the period March to July 2011 and was funded by the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (now NSW Office of Environment and Heritage).

The report is set out in the following way:  

Section 1 describes the project aims and objectives, and some background provided on the Arakwal, Bundjalung people of Byron Bay, and ther Arakwal Aboriginal Corporation.

Section 2 describes the approach taken in reviewing Arakwal cultural awareness programs, and considering what is working, and how they could be improved.

Section 3 sets out key project findings to date, and recommendations relating to cultural programs and activities, and developing the Arakwal cultural website.

Attachments include results of program reviews, examples of programs carried out by other indigenous communities that could be models and examples for the Arakwal, and funding options.


* For further information about the work that was carried out, and our approach to cultural program development and implementation, contact the Arakal Aboriginal Corporation through this website.