Australia’s First Peoples

Northern Cemeteries acknowledges the unique status of Australia’s First Peoples as the original people of this land. We recognise their cultures, histories and ongoing relationship and obligations to the land and waterways.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium acknowledges the traditional custodians of this land, the Darug People. The spirit of the Darug can be found across the region and we honour the memory of their ancestors.

These traditional homelands are ancient and sacred to the Darug who have a deep sense of belonging, both traditional and contemporary, because they are part of the world’s oldest surviving, continuous living culture on the planet.

Totem: Angophora Tree

Totems are a natural object or creature that is believed to have spiritual significance and can be adopted by particular groups as an emblem or symbol.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Northern Cemeteries has embraced the angophora tree as the totem for Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium.

The angophora tree was a special tree to the Darug people who are the Traditional Custodians of the area. The angophora was an ascension tree, a place where the spirits would go up and down from this earthly plane. At the time of pregnancy, a woman would sit at the base of the tree and wait for the spirit of her child to enter her belly into her unborn child. At the other end of the life cycle, when someone passes, the body is wrapped in bark and placed in the large branches up the tree, to allow the spirit of the person to return to the heavens.

 

Susan Moylan-Coombs, First Nations Cultural Keeper and Advisor to Northern Cemeteries

As a Gurindji, Woolwonga woman from the Northern Territory, now  living on Gai-mariagal country, Northern Sydney, it is with great pleasure that I have the opportunity to work in collaboration with Northern Cemeteries to provide advice and guidance, to support them on their journey of truth telling and reconciliation.

Today Northern Cemeteries proudly flies the Aboriginal Flag and acknowledges the Traditional Custodian of the lands that each of their five cemeteries are located.  As sovereign people we have always maintain our connection to country, a connection that has always been sacred to us.

As we look to the future we hope that we can look back one day and say that we made a contribution and we have made a difference.

If we truly care for the community in all its diversity, then healing the history of our past, will bring respect, dignity and inclusivity into the present.

 

 

 

 

 

Always caring for the community in all its diversity