Growing recognition of Guringai Heritage

Growing recognition of Guringai Heritage by descendants in Guringai country. Many people of Indigenous descent are recognised by local councils. The 2009 chairperson since 2004 of the Guringai Link Aboriginal Corporation is Tracey Howie, a descendant of Sophie, Matora’s daughter and Charlotte Ashby, Bungaree’s grand daughter. Lynne Stewart is a descendant of Bungaree. Patsy Cohen is a descendant of Bungaree and Maria. Warren Whitfield is a descendant of Charlotte Ashby.

  • Bob and Christine Waterer, Palm Beach
  • Bob Waterer's family tree: descendants of Bungaree and Matora
  • Lyn Stewart
  • Stacey Bisat, Belinda Stewart,Joanne Stewart, Leanne Sanders
  • Bob Cohen
  • Descendants of Bungaree (from left) Trudy Smith, Lynette Robley, Reta Smith, Margaret Robinson, Tracey Howie
  • Margaret Robinson
  • Charlotte Ashby, grandaughter of Bungaree, third from left
  • Hannah Matilda Ashby, descendant of Bungaree
  • Michelle Kulk
  • Trudy Smith, Member, Guringai Elders Tribal Link
  • Denis Foley and Rickie Maynard

Tracey Howie, Chairperson of the Guringai Link Aboriginal Corporation, explains the difficulty of demonstrating identity under the Native Title Act of NSW.

  • Tracey Howie

Tracey Howie:

That’s another argument with Native Title in NSW. As we know. We, Sydney mob, we were the hardest hit. They came in and they either killed us, or they bred it out of us, or they disease-riddened us, and all of our culture, all of our language, everything was outlawed. It became illegal, and there are, that proof is still there of those laws that were brought in. So how can we, therefore, prove Native Title when, had our ancestors done that, [publicly identified themselves as Koori people we wouldn’t be alive today. So it contradicts it. Native Title Law contradicts itself. How can you do it? You can’t.

I’d like to you know, elaborate, you know, when people say ‘the Stolen Generations’, it’s not taking anything away from the people who were removed from their families, but it goes deeper than just being the removal of a person, of a body. It was the removal of our culture the removal of our song, the removal of our dance, our language. Everything. It was all stolen. Not just the children. Everything was stolen.