The Blacktown Native Institution

Conservation Management Plan

Dharug Strategic Management Group

Blacktown, NSW
Dharug Country

The Blacktown Native Institution (BNI) on Dharug Country in Western Sydney holds profound significance for Dharug people on issues that would go on to affect all First Nations people.

It is one of the first known places where Dharug and later other First Nations children were forcibly removed from their families and communities and were institutionalised.

The site is connected to dispossession, desecration due to colonisation, and the implementation of racially based government policies of ‘protection’, assimilation, and removal, which continue to impact Ngurra and Aboriginal people today.

The return of the BNI site to Dharug ownership in 2018 marked a seminal moment in its history, holding deep meaning for the Dharug community and signifying a pivotal point in their journey of activism, truth-telling, healing, resilience, and belonging together with Dharug Ngurra.

GML assisted Dharug Strategic Management Group (DSMG) in developing and updating a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the BNI, to support the continuing conservation of the BNI heritage significance and to assist DSMG in the care, control and management of the space on behalf of the community.

The CMP reflects Dharug aspirations and is a living plan, evolving as Dharug connections and community needs change. The CMP will assist DSMG in identifying opportunities, constraints and future uses for the site, which will support her significance and enhance her value to other First Nations and wider community.


Image: Always. Source: Leanne Tobin, 2020.