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Members of the Committee

Steve Smith was an Associate Professor with the University of New England over the duration of the project (he now works for Southern Cross University). He was the applicant for the successful Environmental Trust grant that made the project a reality and, with help from other committee members, coordinated the project. Associated with the Arrawarra region since the late 1980s, Steve has spent a lot of time conducting research, and teaching marine science, at UNE’s field station on Arrawarra Headland. Steve is particularly happy that the project has combined ancient and modern ideas about sustainability to provide invaluable educational material for future generations. Steve also believes that the project has substantially enriched his life.
Milton Duroux is a Garby Elder. He wants us to tell you that he is tall, dark and handsome! Milton is on Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation’s Board of Directors, and he also guides many of the tours and activities at Yarrawarra Cultural Centre. He has had a central role in all aspects of the project, and he particularly enjoyed the field work and passing on information about bush tucker and traditional harvesting.
Tim Cowan is Office Manager and a Sites Officer for the Jalumbo Cultural Heritage Unit. Tim has been involved in all aspects of the project and is guided by the following thoughts: “We are told by the Elders, if you respect the land, sea and the knowledge they share with us, it would provide us with plenty of tucker for many generations to come. That’s why I think this is a long life learning experience for all us”.
Kathryn James is graphic designer who joined the project to produce the Fact Sheets and oversee the construction of the website. Kathryn designed the project logo, and is responsible for the high quality and visual appeal of the Fact Sheets. She also took part in field trips taking photos of many different aspects of the work.
Nicola Johnstone is the Manager of the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP), Coffs Harbour, and has been involved in the project from its inception in 2006. Nicola and the previous Manager, Libby Sterling, worked closely with the Gumbaynggirr people to develop a Conservation Plan for traditional resource use on the Headland, upon which this project was based. Prior to her role as Manager she was the Planning Officer for the SIMP, working closely with the community to develop a zoning plan that balances conservation and use. A key outcome of the process was the designation of Arrawarra Headland as a Special Purpose Zone for traditional resource use. Nicola was co-coordinator for the project. She sincerely enjoys working with the Elders and is proud of what everyone has achieved to promote cultural heritage in the region.
Dee Murphy is a yiraalimirrgan cultural researcher who has been working at Yarrawarra since 1993. Dee is an archaeologist and botanist who loves everything to do with people and plants, such as bush tucker, medicines and basketry. Recently, Dee has been formally studying Gumbaynggirr language, after many years of learning from the Garby Elders.
Darren Murray is a Bundjalung man who works for Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority as a Catchment Officer. Darren works closely with Indigenous communities, focusing on issues related to Natural Resource Management. He has been associated with the Garby Elders, Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation and Jalumbo Cultural Heritage Unit for many years.

Past Members of the Committee

Libby Sterling managed the Solitary Islands Marine Park from 1998 to 2005 and, in this time, built strong relationships with local Aboriginal communities. Libby led the development of the zoning plan, which includes the special purpose zone at Arrawarra Headland for traditional resource use, and worked closely with Elders to develop strategies for the re-introduction of traditional resource use at Arrawarra Headland. Libby was integral to the development of the project in 2006 and had a key role in the development of the artwork with local artist Alison Williams. She now manages the Queensland Health interpreter service and multicultural portfolio for north and far north Queensland. 
Adam Davey was a Research Assistant on the project and, over the first 2 years, helped to develop the methods, assisted with training workshops, and coordinated most of the field work relating to assessments of gugumbal. Adam is currently completing his PhD (on the health of estuaries in northern NSW) and working as an environmental consultant in Tasmania.
Uncle Tony Perkins is a Garby Elder and Chair of the Board of Directors of Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation. It was his vision of summarising cultural information for future generations of Indigenous people that provided the impetus for the project. Tony (with Libby Sterling) compiled the design brief for the traditional artworks, liaising with the artist (Alison Williams) to ensure a stunning outcome.
Margie Mohring joined the project as a Research Assistant for a period of 6 months after completing her Honours degree (in 2007) with UNE at the National Marine Science Centre. As her project focused on Turbo militaris (gugumbal) in the Solitary Islands Marine Park, she was an ideal replacement for Adam when he moved to Tasmania. Margie’s role in the project was to monitor gugumbal populations and help gather information and text for the Fact Sheets. She is currently studying her PhD in Western Australia.
Ricky Cain was the Aboriginal Research Assistant during the first year of the project. He was instrumental in educating the study team about the range of marine tucker to be found on rocky shores and how to prepare them for eating. Ricky was a Sites Officer for Jalumbo Cultural Heritage Unit and, more recently, worked with the ACET Green Teams.
Sasha Posthuma-Grbic joined the project as a Research Assistant, for a period of 6 months, working on the production of the Fact Sheets. Sasha did a lot of the background research for the Fact Sheets and also helped with the field work on gugumbal. She particularly enjoyed researching rope-making and basketry.
Rus Glover is the Australian Government NRM Sustainable Resource Management Facilitator for NSW, working as part of the joint NRM Team between the federal Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Environment and Water Resources.

Other Project Participants

Uncle Bing Cecil Laurie is a Garby Elder who was born near Pipe Clay Creek (Corindi Lake). Uncle Bing has lived all his life at Corindi, now at James Runner Drive, which is named after his father (Jimmy Runner). Uncle Bing is in charge of the spiritual protector, the gumburr. Uncle Bing is a good Gumbaynggirr language speaker, and provides many of the welcome speeches for groups at Yarrawarra and Nuralamee.
Ellie Marks is a Community Education Officer with the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP) Coffs Harbour. She has been involved with education activities at the Arrawarra Headland Fish Traps since 2006. These included the development of a Primary School Education Kit to promote cultural awareness, and regular interpretive visits with schools from around the region. Ellie also performed other advisory roles relevant to the project, including during filming for ABC Message Stick’s documentary on the Garby Elders.
EJ Williams currently coordinates Yarrawarra’s Cultural Activities and Events. Building on this experience and expertise, EJ joined the project as a School’s Officer to introduce the Arrawarra: Sharing Culture Fact Sheets to local schools. He has been a member of Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation for over ten years.
Uncle Keith Lardner is a Garby Elder who lives at James Runner Drive, Corindi Beach. Uncle Keith is the last surviving son of Clarry Skinner, a locally famous Gumbaynggirr man. Uncle Keith is very knowledgeable about trees and plants, and is also a very good language speaker.
Alison Williams is an award-winning Aboriginal artist from Gumbaynggirr nation, New South Wales. Recognised as a leading Indigenous artist, Alison is also an advocate for cultural awareness, education and heritage through teaching, mentoring, performance and fine art.
Gumbaynggir Nation
Arrawarra Headland
Fish Traps
Traditional Fishing
Other Food from the Sea
Hunting and Cooking
Arrawarra Midden
Bush Calendar
Useful Plants Trees
Useful Plants Fruit
Useful Plants Leaves
Scientific Monitoring
Gumbaynggirr Language
Gatherings and Ceremonies
Oral Histories