Welcome To Country

"This Uplift Festival gathering acknowledges the Bundjalung of Byron Bay – Arakwal People as the recognised Traditional Custodians of Byron Bay and surrounding area. They are part of the wider Bundjalung nation of the region and have lived in this area for many thousands of years before the arrival of non-Aboriginal people. 

The Bundjalung of Byron Bay – Arakwal People retain a strong and active connection with their Aboriginal culture including protecting, caring for and helping to manage this Country. As recognised Traditional Owners they have entered into a number of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (IULAs) with the New South Wales Government that recognise their Native Title Rights, protect Cape Byron and the adjoining coastline as Arakwal National Park  that enables all people to visit, enjoy and appreciate this special place. 

The Arakwal people have long had a strong association with Byron Bay and know it as Cavanbah, which means ‘meeting place’.  It has always been an important place of gathering together for the Bundjalung nation, and the Bundjalung of Byron Bay - Arakwal people welcome you to Cavanbah to gather for this special event. The Arakwal people ask that you respect and care for Country while you are here and hope you have a wonderful and unforgettable visit." 

…Message from the Arakwal ‘Bumberline’ Elders

"We want to see Country how it used to be. We want to continue to look after country and want it to look after us. We want our people to be back on country, caring for and using country like we always have. We want to share parts of our culture with the wider community so they learn about and respect country like we do. We want everybody to work together to keep Country clean and healthy"

Aunties Lorna Kelly (dec), Dulcie Nicholls and Linda Vidler (dec), 2003

To find out more about the Bundjalung of Byron Bay – Arakwal People please visit their interactive cultural website www.arakwal.com.au