Keepa Keepa Dreaming

Keepa Keepa Eagle Place

Keepa Keepa Eagle Place was the life long dream of Aboriginal Elder Uncle Bob Sampson (RIP) Farewell Uncle Bob Sampson

The above image depicts the plan for Aborigial Centre Uncle Bob planned to build at the Keepa Keepa site.

For now the idea resides in the dreamtime along with Uncle Bob.

Keepa Keepa Cultural Place is located next to Mount Vincent and is located in New South Wales, Australia.

This area is described as the "Eagle Eye" of the landscape, this is because of the panoramic view of the areas surrounding Lake Macquarie that can be seen from this lookout. It is reported that the elders that come up to Keepa Keepa have a special feeling about the place. The more time they spend here the more they are finding out about the place and how the area was used by Aboriginals prior to European settlement.

There are number Bush Foods, medicinal plants and useful plants in this area. Rob Sampson helped to survey the area and map out a bushfood trail to use for educational purposes for visitors to Keepa Keepa. Some of the bushfoods seen in this area include Apple Berry (billardiera scandens, Burrawang, Settles's Flax (gymnostachys anceps), number Acacia spp,. Bracken Furn, Kurrajong, Mat Rush (lomandra longifolia), dianella caerulea and Native Grape (causonis clematidea).

Keepa Keepa Community Projects (August 2006)

Keepa Keepa Indigenous Reserve and Cultural Centre Project Plan

Keepa Keepa Trifold - Promotional Document

Mur-ra-bun Plan

Keepa Keepa ICC Funding Submission Summary

Detailed Funding Proposal

Site Photographs

Virtual Sourcebook for Aboriginal Studies in the Hunter Region

Mount Sugarloaf

Keepa Keepa Elders - Beliefs and Respect to the Land -  Keepa Keepa Elders Group - August 2006

When the great ancestors had roamed the earth: they were human, animal, bird at one and at the same time, all natural things were in unity. These ancestors were unlike the people of today. They possessed special knowledge and were so intimately associated with certain animals and plants.

As the ancestors journeyed over the land, their actions took form and created the natural features of such as rivers and ranges. The land they shaped is today occupied by their descendants. Aboriginal people are the inheritors of this land which was left to us from the great ones. The land is ours because we belong to the land, the blood of our people was split there and that distinguishes it as our place.

Our ancestors’ spirits are still here with us and watching us.

The traditions that have been passed down through the thousand generations includes histories of the creation of animals, stories of people, of caring for the land and all living creatures through harmony with the environment. This is the basis of our spirituality and the land provides for all our physical and spiritual needs.  The land does not belong to us. We belong to the land.

Keepa Keepa Elders Group recognise the importance of the land to all Aboriginal people, and the residents of the Hunter region in general. The group has an ethical foundation, and hopes to guide stakeholders and encouraging a way of working together to secure a sustainable future for the local forest environments, ensuring social, cultural and economic benefits for the whole community.

The State Forests of the region are an enormous public asset which provides a wide range of benefits to the community. Forests NSW have embraced the objectives of ecologically sustainable forest management, and are working together alongside Keepa Keepa and the community responding to their needs, values and expectations.

Although the ways people access and utilise the forest resources can sometimes be considered to conflict with each other. By taking a collaborative approach stakeholders can solve problems in an open, visible, civil and cooperative manner which emphasizes mutual accountability, communication, honesty and trust.

Keepa Keepa Elders Group represents a wide range of interests and stakeholders we are committed to constructively exploring and nurturing relationships to ensure the joint benefits of this important partnership between all parties and the land, for now and the future.

Statement of significance of this area to Awabakal Traditional Descendants

It also must be remembered that the significance of place to our people does not just rely on the presence of artefacts, grinding grooves, scars or any visible evidence associated with the site or area. Although what does remain in the physical realm whether small or large, does connect us to our Ancestors and our Cultural Heritage being the physical reminder of what helped govern and guide the everyday lives of our people.

With this physical evidence we can touch the very stones (artefacts) that they (our Ancestors) worked and fashioned into tools and implements. We can visit the sites they also visited and utilised and left us as reminders of their physical presence within the landscape that makes up our Traditional Country. Unfortunately in this day and age it has become too easy due to ignorance, lack of connection and insufficient understanding of the entire picture, not to mention so called progress, to devalue and debase our People and our Cultural Heritage which has belonged and survived in this area for thousands of years.

The fact that this area is a contributing part of what makes us who we are and where we come from cannot be defined just as something tangible. The feeling of the area and the extensive connection we have with it, the awareness of knowing this is a connection that is confined to just a handful of people living today because it was OUR Ancestors that walked upon it. This is sufficient enough for us to be resolute in knowing that we are part of the reason of what makes this place significant.

 Our people, the Awabakal, have for centuries looked after this area as part of our greater Traditional Tribal Country and we believe that in today’s climate we as Awabakal Descendants need to continue to be involved in the Protection, Preservation, consultation and management issues that affect the Traditional Tribal Country of our Ancestors. We consider our involvement paramount and if neglected or overlooked in this process, we believe it is to the detriment of the community and the complete understanding of the Awabakal People and the wellbeing of the area in question.

This land holds secrets which are significant to us, many stories from the past connect us to it and these stories will continue to live and be significant because they live in us and are what makes us by birthright, Awabakal People. Therefore it is imperative that people understand that all of our Cultural Heritage is of great importance to our People, whether it is an isolated find or artefact scatters that are encountered, it is all significant. From the smallest to the largest they are all relevant.

Then again, a place may be just as significant to us without any physical evidence or application or designation being placed upon it. A landscape as devoid of physical evidence as is common sense and morality by those who enforce or support much of the legislation that not always, but on many occasions, ultimately sees the demise of the very Cultural Heritage that they themselves have vowed to protect and through their much celebrated but sadly misplaced enthusiasm, is more than often overlooked on many occasions by those who should know better but unfortunately don’t.