Living Knowledge Project

Kempsey High School - How did we do it?

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners

This material has been written by Kempsey High School teachers and the Kempsey Aboriginal Community.


To begin the process of showing ultimate respect for the Aboriginal communities of the Macleay valley it is acknowledged that the first point of contact for Aboriginal education issues will be the Dunghutti Elders Council Aboriginal Corporation. This organisation is the representative body that was established in 1996 as a result of the first successful Native Title claim on mainland Australia. The High Court of Australia recognised that the claimants were able to prove that the traditional law and customs were still practised.

In other areas it is normal for the Local Aboriginal Lands Council to be considered to be a peak Aboriginal organisation. However, in this case that would trivialise the importance of the social role and responsibilities of the traditional owners.

The Dunghutti Elders Council Aboriginal Corporation considers that the education of Aboriginal students is a priority area and as such will request that a member will take on the responsibility of an Education portfolio. This will allow this organisation to work closely with the Kempsey Local Aboriginal Lands Council, the Thunghutti Local Aboriginal Lands Council, the Macleay Valley Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, all pre-schools, primary schools, high schools, tertiary institutions, parents and the Aboriginal communities.

The Dunghutti Elders Council Aboriginal Corporation education portfolio aim is to ensure that Aboriginal students have access to an education system that values them as community members and reinforces their identity.