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Acknowledging Country

We acknowledge the local custodians of the land on which UCRH is based, the Widjabul Wyabul people of the Bundjalung nation. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this region.

Across the Northern Rivers, we also work on the lands of the Gumbaynggirr, Yaegl and Arakwal nations and acknowledge their custodianship.

We are committed to ensuring that we walk lightly on this country and that we provide a strong education and cultural grounding for future health practitioners. We seek to:

  • Provide excellent, multifaceted cultural and health education to our students.
  • Undertake high-quality research that comes from, works with, and benefits Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and responds to their needs.
  • Share cultural understandings with non-Indigenous staff.
  • Provide a culturally safe workspace for Aboriginal staff.
  • Build the future Aboriginal workforce.

Our Acknowledgement of Country design, pictured right, was created by a member of the UCRH team. Talah Laurie is a research and Project/Research Officer with us, and she is also a digital creative. Her work seeks to showcase Aboriginal design in the world of research and academia, with the intention of giving back to her community and helping to preserve culture through visual documentation. A Gumbaynggirr Yaegl woman, Talah’s design portfolio is showcased on her Gumbaynggirr Graphics website.

Her design was created with the intent to honor how First Nations peoples work in circles, see strength in circles and learn in circles. That collective spirit is a way of existing that understands the intricacies of finding, sharing and documenting knowledge. UCRH holds and creates space for many different forms of knowledge and experience and encourages creative collaboration. Talah’s hope is by leading this way in our work, by approaching everything with respect and curiosity, that we can make greater and more positive impact in our communities.

Bundjalung Country

Much of the Northern Rivers, including the areas where we operate, are traditionally part of the Bundjalung nation. This country covers a large area of approximately 300 square kilometres of north-east NSW and south-east Queensland and includes around fourteen clans or community groups, each with their own dialect, cultural heritage and knowledge systems.

Unlike other Aboriginal nations, the Bundjalung people’s creation stories tell of their ancestors arriving in the region from elsewhere. The Story of the Three Brothers tells of the arrival of Mamoonth, Yarbirri and Birrung who travelled over the seas to the region with their families. In time, having settled on land around Bullinah (Ballina), the brothers eventually separated, one each heading north, west and south. This was the start of a diverse and rich Aboriginal history which spans many thousands of years.

Today in the Northern Rivers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people account for 4.6% of the population which is higher than the national level of 3.2% (data from 2021 Census figures for Richmond-Tweed). Like elsewhere across Australia, Aboriginal people in the Bundjalung nation experience significant disparity in health and other social indicators. We are committed to contributing to equitable social change and particularly welcome the challenge of bringing our effort and expertise to bear on addressing health inequities.