Great Divide to Eden Aboriginal Independent Cultural Landscapes Assessment
Department of Premier and Cabinet
The Bundian Way was listed on the State Heritage Register (SHR) as a rare surviving ancient pathway used by Aboriginal people over thousands of years linking the high country at Kosciuszko and the coast at Eden. However, it has since become a contentious issue between Aboriginal community groups and Traditional custodians.
The study area is a corridor intended to capture the cultural landscape with relation to previously identified key thematic areas including whale migration, the bogong moth, the Snowy River, Aboriginal guides during early European exploration, and seasonal travel between the Great Divide and Eden in southeastern NSW.
Heritage NSW engaged GML to provide an independent assessment of the listing. We provided a constructive and positive opportunity for individuals and groups to express their perspectives on the listing and its wider cultural context. We sought to meaningfully engage with all relevant parties undertaking oral history interviews across the Southern Snowy Mountains Aboriginal Community, and the coastal Traditional Owners groups (Thaua, Djirinbanj, Yuin).
The people interviewed for this project gave generously of their time, knowledge and experience supporting our research and a re-assessment of the 7 Heritage Council criteria, with an emphasis on social values. We provided key findings and recommendations to the Heritage Council and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC) for the recognition of multiple values in the project area.