Aboriginal Communities

We recognise that the traditional custodians of the land which now makes up the Great Lakes Council area are the Worimi and Biripi tribes. 

The Biripi traditionally inhabited the area between Tuncurry, Taree and Gloucester. The Worimi occupied the land between Barrington Tops and Forster in the north, and Maitland and the Hunter River in the south.

Great Lakes Council acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, the elders past and present, and the local Aboriginal culture and heritage.

The Aboriginal History of the Great Lakes

For a detailed and interesting summary of local Aboriginal history, take a look at the document below by Narelle Marr. It tells the story of the Worimi and Biripi 'Nurras', (local groups within the tribes), and how European colonisation of the region has affected them. It makes for powerful reading.

”George Godwin, the first settler to arrive in Forster with a family in 1856, found the Aborigines friendly and showed them how to grow corn, till the barden, split shingles and palings, and gather oysters and wild honey…..With the withdrawal of the Australian Agricultural Company from the lakes in 1832 and the arrival of settlers in the Manning Valley in 1831, conditions deteriorated rapidly for local Aborigines."

Read the full article below.

Local Aboriginal Land Councils

Forster - Forster Local Aboriginal Land Council covers a geographical area from the Pacific Ocean in the East, to the Central Highlands beyond Gloucester in the West, from Seal Rocks in the South to Hallidays Point in the North.

Contact details:

10 Breckenridge Street, PO Box 384, Forster, NSW 2428, Telephone: (02) 6555 5411

www.forsterlalc.org.au  or www.tobwabba.com.au

Karuah -

Contact details:

16 Mustons Road, PO Box 30, Karuah, NSW 2324, Telephone: (02) 4997 5733


Aboriginal Ageing and Disability Care

Great Lakes Council's ageing and Disability Services team is trained to help specifically with the needs of our Aboriginal communities. They have a special Aboriginal Services brochure you can download below. You can also contact them on 1300 65 88 30 to get more information.