Indigenous heritage will be strengthened in Lightning Ridge thanks to $70,000 in funding to restore a historic cemetery.
Indigenous Affairs Minister, Nigel Scullion and Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said the announcement was part of the Australian Government investment of $1.6 million this financial year in 18 projects across Australia through the Indigenous Heritage Programme to strengthen the connection between Indigenous communities and their heritage values.
Minister Scullion said the projects focus on supporting, identifying, promoting and conserving the heritage values of places important to Indigenous people.
“Projects cover activities including the conservation of burial sites, conducting heritage surveys and repair work, developing cultural heritage management plans and recording and passing on traditional knowledge,” Minister Scullion said.
“Indigenous heritage projects provide education, training, employment and business opportunities that help Indigenous Australians to meet their cultural obligations to care for their country and maintain traditions.”
Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said the Lightning Ridge Local Aboriginal Land Council would receive $70,000 through the 2013-14 round of Indigenous Heritage funding.
“This funding will enable the Lightning Ridge Local Aboriginal Land Council to restore a historic cemetery on the Angledool Aboriginal Mission,” Mr Coulton said.
“Due to inappropriate land management over the years, storm water has been diverted onto the graves, and subsequently human remains are being unearthed.
“Most of the graves are unmarked and the community is concerned that their ancestors’ resting ground is in disrepair.
“The project will allow the community to conserve and restore the site, capturing stories of life on the Mission, whilst assisting Elders and youth to reconnect to Country.
“The Government’s investment through the Indigenous heritage projects supports Indigenous people to care for their land and heritage and this in turn helps to strengthen and preserve the history, culture and self-esteem of communities.”