During this NAIDOC week, as so many of us are out and about working out, walking and enjoying our incredible local environment, it is fitting to acknowledge the Gaymaraygal and Garigal people who are the traditional owners of this land.
Manly is named after Governor Phillip’s first encounter with the local Aboriginal people in 1788. He was so impressed by their physiques that he described them as “Manly” and the name has stuck.
The plentiful food supplies from both the harbour and the ocean plus the availability of land animals provided a wonderful high protein diet for the local Aboriginal people and their muscular physique reflected this.
Even today, it is wonderful to see wildlife so close to us with the bush alive with wallabies, bird calls and reptiles. Turtles are often visible in North Harbour plus a huge variety of fish and mammals, including visiting dolphins and whales.
If you would like to transport yourself back in time, sense the presence of the Aboriginal people and see evidence of their lives, you don’t need to go far. Here are a few:
· Reef Beach Midden
· Manly Spit Walk engravings Grotto Point, just past Tania Park towards, Clontarf
· Wakehurst Parkway Engravings Bantry Bay: along the mountain bike trail, on the left going north
Another fantastic resource for further understanding Indigenous seasonal knowledge and environmental connectivity is the Bureau of Meteorology, http://www.bom.gov.au/iwk/
After lockdown, in conjunction with local Indigenous company Bush to Bowl, Chocolate Fitness will be offering a 2 ½ hour walking tour (including Indigenous flavours and snacks). Details will follow as soon as possible so please register your interest by SMS/PM.
Bush to Bowl aims to create spaces where families and community members can engage with Australia’s native plants and traditional Aboriginal knowledge and culture.