North Coast Local Land Services has a range of exciting and innovative cultural connection projects that help build relationships with Local Aboriginal Land Councils, key environment management organisations and the North Coast Aboriginal community. These relationships have now been formalised with the establishment of an Aboriginal Community Advisory Group that will help co-ordinate the involvement of Aboriginal communities in activities in the North Coast region. Barry Williams, Senior Land Services Officer said, “Our aim is to develop partnerships that will improve networks, collaboration, connection to Country and improved career pathways in land management. “The Aboriginal Community Advisory Group provides a vital communication, consultation and engagement forum to help us deliver services to Aboriginal communities on the North Coast,” Barry said. Aboriginal Community Advisory Group members include Des Williams, Tweed Heads; Shane Ivey, Mullumbimby; Rachael Cavanagh, Grafton; Ruben Browne, Coffs Harbour and Patricia Walker, Bowraville. Members come from diverse backgrounds and bring a broad range of knowledge and experience. They represent Local Aboriginal Land Councils, environmental groups and state government agencies. The North Coast region is the traditional home to a number of Aboriginal nations. Throughout the landscape there are cultural sites, special places and physical evidence of land use such as rock art, culturally modified trees, grinding grooves, artefact scatters and midden sites. These are the places where traditional skills, knowledge and cultural practices are passed down from generation to generation. Barry continued, “The programs and partnerships that North Coast Local Land Services is developing are designed to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage. “We also look to the future and many of our activities are also designed to increase the knowledge and skill required to undertake environmental work. “This means that young Aboriginal people have access to the all important career pathways” Barry said.