Place of Aboriginal activism and connection recognised
A former Aboriginal mission that has become a crucial place for Indigenous activism and resistance will be formally recognised in cultural laws.
Aboriginal families have lived at the La Perouse site south of Sydney for more than 7500 years.
The Frenchmans Bay location has a long and troubled history of oppression and dispossession, dating back the late 1800s when Aboriginal people were forced out of the city, with many moving to La Perouse.
The site became a camping and meeting place, and then Sydney's first Aboriginal reserve from the 1890s to 1930s.
The site has now been declared an Aboriginal place by the NSW government.
Sam Kidman from Heritage NSW said it was a testament to the great resilience of Indigenous people.
"It is a very special place of ancient history and ongoing cultural practices that we're acknowledging for its cultural significance, and to help protect it for future generations," he said.
Paul Knight, who was part of the consultations, said for many Aboriginal people La Perouse had a strong connection to bicentenary events of 1988, when thousands of Indigenous Australians came to protest in Sydney.
"The La Perouse Aboriginal community retains their connection to the site as it sits alongside Aboriginal housing," Mr Knight said.
"Together with Redfern, La Perouse is the urban face of Aboriginal Sydney."
The location is associated with Aboriginal activism and resistance as well as freedom and independence.
The declaration will ensure the place is preserved and managed in a way that respects the culture and spiritual practices of its traditional owners.
Noeleen Timbery from the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council welcomed the decision on behalf of community members who lived on the old mission site, or had parents and grandparents who resided there.