Matt Dootson (Garby Elders), Uncle Tony Perkins (Jagun Aged Care) and Brett Tibbett (Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council).
Matt Dootson (Garby Elders), Uncle Tony Perkins (Jagun Aged Care) and Brett Tibbett (Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council). RMS

Preserving heritage throughout progress

ROADS and Maritime Services has many teams who work in partnership with internal and external stakeholders to ensure the agency meets its responsibilities relating to Aboriginal cultural heritage when planning, building and maintaining the NSW Road and Maritime network.

There are a number of groups working in infrastructure projects in the northern region that are collaborating to preserve areas with significant cultural heritage values for local communities.

For example, Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council, Garby Elders and Jagun Aged Care (pictured above) have formulated a bond through a common purpose of safeguarding, educating and keeping traditional connections intact for Aboriginal cultural heritage during the delivery of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.

The work calls on a vast assortment of cultural knowledge and expertise, and also provides valuable experience in the civil construction industry.

The Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APiC) policy has been implemented successfully on the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade where Aboriginal people have represented a consistent eight per cent of the workforce. In addition eight percent of the Aboriginal employees have local cultural connections to the Gumbaynggirr, Yaegl and Bundjalung nations.

- Crystal Donovan, Aboriginal Project Officer, Woolgoolga to Ballina Project, RMS



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