Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Helen Riley has been selected as a member of the National Parks Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (AHAC).
The AHAC was established in 2006 under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (NPW) 1974 to advise the Minister for the Environment and the CEO of Environment and Heritage on matters relating to Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW.
Mrs Riley said she applied for the role months ago and only found out recently.
“They called me on Tuesday [November 27] and I was gob smacked. I really couldn’t believe it, you know a lot of people put in for it,” she said.
She also said it meant a lot to her and the Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal group.
“What this means is that Wiradjuri will have a voice in this area,” she said.
Mrs Riley said she was very excited and honoured to have been selected and is looking forward to her new role.
Lithgow City councillor Steve Ring said this reflected Mrs Riley’s dedication to working on indigenous cultural heritage matters within the Lithgow LGA.
“She is held in high regard by the Wiradjuri Council of Elders,” he said.
Cr Ring said Mrs Riley established the Mingaan Aboriginal Corporation and was involved in having Hyde Park declared an Aboriginal place under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and she has been the driving force to protect art sites and also organised the successful NAIDOC celebration in Capertee National Park.
“She will be a strong voice on the committee for improved management of Indigenous Cultural heritage sites,” Cr Ring said.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Lithgow Mercury. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.