Aboriginal community

Welcome to Thungutti/Dunghutti country

We invite you to watch this video, which warmly welcomes you to Thungutti/Dunghutti country. 

The Thungutti/Dunghutti (also known as Dhanggati or Dainggatti) people have lived in the Macleay region for millennia, from the saltwater coastal areas to the freshwater country upstream and the mountain country to the west. 

Cultural heritage

Kempsey Shire’s Aboriginal cultural heritage is timeless, rich and diverse. It is not static but dynamic and living across landscapes, in towns and villages, in the homes and settlements of the community, and in the language and traditions the Elders keep.

Ancient sites are found across the region, from camp sites and boras through to landscape-scale sites such as the Stuarts Point-Clybucca Midden.

Contemporary places that document the impacts of colonisation on the Aboriginal community include the Kinchela Boys Home and the Mission sites at Burnt Bridge and Greenhill.

Aboriginal cultural heritage is also recorded in the works of Aboriginal artists – including the late Robert Campbell Junior, whose paintings are held by the National Gallery of Australia – and on the mural wall of Services Park in Kempsey, where younger Thungutti/Dunghutti artists keep a visual record of their community. 

How Council works with the Aboriginal community

Kempsey Shire Council acknowledges the ongoing challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognises the importance of government and the community coming together to achieve the best possible outcomes for the future.

Council prioritises the cultural and social well-being of the Aboriginal community and their ongoing connection to Country. In developing local strategic plans, growth management strategies, economic development plans and other initiatives for the region, Council considers the Aboriginal community to be key stakeholders and is committed to culturally appropriate engagement and partnerships. 

Local connections

You can meet local people and experience Thungutti/Dunghutti culture through the following:

  • The Wigay Aboriginal Cultural Park in Dangar Street, Kempsey, is a place of great natural beauty where people gather for peaceful walks, educational activities and special events. The 2.75-hectare park features wetland, wet forest, woodland, rainforest and tropical plants. You can explore the park at your own pace or take a guided tour to learn more about Thungutti/Dunghutti culture and traditional uses of plants for food and medicine.
  • Dunghutti-Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery in Kempsey offers works for sale by renowned Aboriginal artists who are represented in major public and private collections. Visitors can also purchase works from emerging artists who live and work in the region.
  • A range of local community groups and organisations serve and support Indigenous people in Kempsey Shire.
  • The Barrunbatayi (Dreamtime) Memorial at East Kempsey Cemetery was created in 2006 in collaboration with Thungutti/Dunghutti Elders and local community groups. 

More information