Stop, Look, Listen

Our People, the Byron Bay Arakwal, have lived around the Byron Bay area for thousands of years. Before the many changes brought by European settlers, we used to live off the land and the water. It provided us with many foods from plants, bushes and trees. We want our children, grand-children and their grandchildren to know how we once lived and to also be able to use the food from these lands.

We want them to know our special places.

(Linda Vidler, Lorna Kelly, Dulcie Nicholls, Byron Bay Arakwal Elders)

Traditionally we learn, teach and do things in ways that connect us with Country and to each other. These include dance and ceremony, story telling and song, crafts and art, and being in Country connecting with nature and doing things like walking and swimming, hunting and gathering. These help us to belong to, and care for Country. To do this properly we need to Stop, Look and Listen (Binungal!) when visiting Country.

Click here to read our Bush Rules.

Impacted by the influx and settling of non-indigenous people in our Country, our traditional knowledge and skills have been fragmented and in some cases lost. We are rebuilding and adapting to strengthen our culture. This includes the shared stories we now hold with the wider community in which we live and work. We have included different ways of learning and caring for Country that come from this experience and new relationships that have formed in recent times supporting our cultural renewal and caring for Country.

The meaning and messages of our culture remain the same, strongly connected to our ancestors and continuous storylines of this Country and our people. This is shared in our Arakwal clan, with the wider Bundjalung nation and Aboriginal peoples, as well as with the general community, to strengthen awareness and respect for Country and Aboriginal culture.