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Nēwara Aboriginal Corporation
Nēwara Aboriginal Corporation is a non-profit Aboriginal community organisation based on Anaiwan Country in Armidale, New South Wales. Nēwara is committed to the reclamation and revival of Anaiwan language, culture, history and traditional practices on Country.
Rather than negotiate a formal agreement with the New South Wales government to acquire Country under restrictive legal frameworks, Nēwara Aboriginal Corporation set up a crowd funding campaign to purchase a 240-hectare bush block. This means Anaiwan people own the land outright. They can be self-determining and take care of country in their way.
“Our vision is to have a place where our people can go to revive and practice culture, to revitalize language, and to care for country. We plan for this block of land to be used for cultural camps for Aboriginal kwānga (children ) in out-of-home care, on-country Anaiwan language learning, the growing and harvesting of native foods and medicines, gatherings of local Aboriginal men’s and women’s groups, and as a place where our people can come together to sing our songs, dance our dances, and share our stories.”
For Anaiwan people, buying a privately owned block of land was the most straightforward means of getting country back. As Steve Widders, Nēwara Corporation chairman, explains:
“There are some land councils that got some land back from the Land Rights Act, but there were strings attached to it. For example, it wasn’t subdivided – you couldn’t build on it… buying land outright means self-determination. We can do what we like with it … It’s going to build better relations. It’s going to break down a lot of barriers and build a lot of bridges – done in our way, on our terms.”
Read more about Nēwara Aboriginal Corporation.