Ancient Aboriginal rock carvings on the New South Wales Central coast have been vandalised in recent months sparking calls for more education on the significance of Indigenous cultural sites.
Carvings found at the Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site and others at a sacred women’s site have been damaged with some scratched and others driven over.
Found near Kariong in the Brisbane Water National Park, the name Bulgandry comes from a large engraving of a man believed to be an ancestral hero, seen with large headress.
Speaking to the ABC, Dundullimal Dubba-ga Wiradjuri woman Minmi Gugubarra said finding the vandalism was distressing.
“I literally cried when I came here, I dropped to my knees, and I cried.”
According to the ABC, there were clear signs of damage at the site with scratch marks and motorcycle tracks being clearly visible.
Gomilaroi, Mandandanji and Awaba man Kevin “Gavi” Duncan has told the ABC the desecration highlights a lack of respect for Indigenous sites.
“Imagine walking into an art gallery and rearranging the Mona Lisa or defacing the engravings on the pyramids of Egypt.”
Some of these sites are older than the pyramids of Egypt [and] they’re much older than Stonehenge.
I think in the Australian culture we don’t regard or recognise these properly, which we should.”
Under the National Parks and Wild Life Act 1974 it’s an offence to damage or destroy an Aboriginal site without permission from the NSW government, and those found guilty can face a penalty of up to $55,000.
A National Parks and Wildlife Service Spokesperson has told the ABC they are working with local Aboriginal communities to protect the cultural sites and are calling for anyone with information about the vandalism to contact them.
Image Credit: PRFenelon Via Wikimedia Commons.