Community collaboration key to Tomaree Coastal Walk success

Some of the Worimi people involved in the project, along with some of the team from National Parks involved in the creation of the Tomaree Coastal walk. Photo: Marian Sampson.

RESPECTFUL collaboration has been a key factor behind the delivery of the stunning Tomaree Coastal Walk.

Teams from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Destination Port Stephens and Port Stephens Council, among others, have delivered a uniquely cultural and environmental experience.

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At an informal gathering after last week’s Walk opening, the community celebrated the journey that it has taken to create the new tourism offering, highlighting the way which culture has been embedded into the experience.

NPWS staff recognised how important the building of relationships has been in getting the Walk right.

Those involved believe the collaborative model can be shared as an example of how joint management can be done well.

The Walk will now share Worimi country, language and culture with people from all over the world.

“To all my second second nations brothers and sisters – welcome back to culture,” Andrew Smith of the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council said.

“It’s what we’ve been doing for thousands of years… ceremonies like this here,” referring to the informal headland gathering.

Worimi Elder Lorraine Lilly was involved in the Walk from the beginning.

“I thought it was fabulous, whoever came up with the idea,” Lorraine told NOTA.

“I was involved in the early years when they were consulting with the Worimi people.

“We shared some stories which was good and what happened today, I thought it was fabulous, truly fabulous.

“To think that not only the local people were there, the Worimi people but that politicians were there.

“I was amazed that the Premier would take time out to come here to be with us to celebrate the opening,” she said.


Worimi Elder Neville Lilly delivered a moving Welcome to Country at the opening ceremony of the Tomaree Coastal Walk. Photo: Marian Sampson.

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