The Ngunawal people are the Indigenous Australian inhabitants whose traditional lands encompass much of the area now occupied by the city of Canberra and the surrounding Australian Capital Territory.
When first encountered by European settlers in the 1820s, the Ngunawal people lived in an area roughly bounded by what is now the towns of Braidwood, Goulburn, Boorowa, Harden, Gundagai and Cooma. The Ngunawal people are neighbours of the Yuin (on the coast), Ngarigo (south east of Canberra), Wiradjuri (to the west of Yass) and Gundungurra (to the north) peoples.
A more detailed account of Ngunawal history can be found at www.ngunawal.com.au.
The Ngunawal people are still actively involved in the protection and preservation of our culture.
With over 40 years combined experience, the Ngunawal people have been involved with surveys and consultation concerning issues of Aboriginal cultural heritage. Some of these projects include:
- Cotter Dam enlargement project (Bulk Water Alliance/ACTEWagl);
- Eastern Gas Pipeline (Duke Energy);
- Queanbeyan to Hoskinstown gas pipeline (Agility);
- Defence Headquarters (Leightons);
- Gunning Windfarm (Acciona Energy);
- Yass Windfarm (Epuron);
- Cullerin Windfarm (Origin Energy); and
- Coolac bypass (Abi Group).
Tyronne Bell is the youngest of seven children and grew up in Yass, learning traditional culture from his father Don Bell (senior). Challenging early experiences helped shape his lifelong passion for the advancement of Aboriginal issues. Tyronne has become a strong advocate for the recognition of Aboriginal culture and language, in particular, the culture and language of the Ngunawal people.
Tyronne has worked as a ranger in ACT Parks and Conservation and more recently has spent ten years in the public service, mainly in the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio where he worked in the Native Title Unit. He has recently been appointed to the Natural Resources Management (NRM) ACT Council.
Tyronne also has connections with the non-Indigenous community and has been deeply involved in many community-based activities and projects over the years. His knowledge of the local region is considerable. Tyronne has lived on Country all his life.
Veronica (Ronnie) Jordan
Veronica is a Kalkadoon woman from Mt Isa. She has been teaching and working with her culture for a number of years.
Veronica is a proficient trainer specialising in traditional Indigenous games, traditional painting techniques, traditional coil basket weaving and shares her knowledge on bush tucker plants.
She has taught Indigenous culture to a wide range of people from children to the elderly, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
She has completed a Certificate IV in Land Management.
Adam Shipp Is a Wiradjuri man who has grown up and lives in Canberra, Ngunawal country. Adam is passionate about his culture and passing on his knowledge to Aboriginal youth and peers in his community. Some of the programs Adam has been involved in, includes:
Working with 30 schools/groups developing educational bush tucker gardens. Through his position at Greening Australia he has provided schools with native bush tucker plants from the Ngunawal region and speaks to children about their cultural significance to traditional Aboriginal culture. Adam believes that this kind of cultural knowledge works in well with the current school curriculum and has seen how proud Aboriginal students are when given the opportunity to learn about their culture in a school environment.
Another program Adam has pioneered over the last three years is one that works in depth with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students of all ages reconnecting them to culture and country. Adam has worked with six groups of eight students from various schools in the A.C.T taking them out on country and teaching about traditional culture including, visiting cultural sites and places such as grinding grooves, scar trees and rock art, learning about their history, significance and how to care for and maintain these sites today. Other activities include, learning how to identify native plants and animals and their significance to traditional Aboriginal culture and teaching students skill based learning around environmental activities such as, native seed collecting, plant propagation, nursery skills and planting trees in the landscape.
Adam has also worked closely with Campbell page RTO inside the Canberra prison delivering a certificate II in Conservation and land management to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees. This has been and innovative program which has gained much positive feedback from detainees and prison staff. Adam will soon be facilitating formal training to College aged students who will obtain a certificate of attainment in Conservation and Land management upon completion.
Adam’s goal is to branch out and start his own business. He would like to build on the interest he has generated around Bush tucker and become a viable and self-sufficient business. He already has a number of interested parties who have approached him about supplying bush foods on a commercial scale. He is keen to work with more schools, organisations and business’s setting up educational bush tucker gardens around the ACT and continue his work with Aboriginal youth and detainees. He dreams of one day owning a business where he can train and employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the Canberra and surrounding communities.