Aboriginal Elder Speaks Out About Sacred Site Under Threat of Mining

When you take a man from his sacred land, you take his life spirit22nd January 2014

By Andy Whiteley

Co-Founder of Wake Up World

Video by Sean Vandenberg

Guest producer for Wake Up World

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the video presentation contained within this article contains footage of deceased persons.

The NSW State Government has given permission to New Zealand based sandmining company Rocla Materials Pty Ltd to build a sand mine on a sacred Aboriginal Women’s Fertility Rites teaching place in Calga NSW, on Australia’s Central Coast. The site in question is part of the sacred Dreaming Track, and its destruction would destroy with it tens of thousands of years of Aboriginal heritage, as well as the habitat of numerous endangered animal species that are native to the area.

The last fully-initiated female Aboriginal Elder of the Darkinoong blood line, Auntie Beve, has made it her mission to make all Australians (and indeed the world) aware of how significant this loss would be – to help them fully understand the cultural importance of this site to the world’s oldest civilization, and why it must never be destroyed. And she needs your help to do it.

Cultural significance

In this exclusive video presentation, Auntie Beve speaks with fellow custodian Tracey-Lee Howie about the importance of the sacred Women’s Fertility Rites site:

(Video produced by Sean Vandenberg)

As you can see, the disputed site is sacred to the Original people of this land – particularly the Original women – and should therefore of be of cultural and historical significance to all Australians. It is the site where young Original women were initiated in the ancient rites of fertility and prepared for marriage in Original culture. It is part of the ancient Dreaming Track, the sacred passage of rites that crosses the massive continent of Australia, travelled by Original people for millennia before us. And the desecration of this site would also desecrate of the energy lines of the entire Dreaming Track – an unthinkable outcome for those who understand its cultural value and historical significance.

For more information, please read Auntie Beve’s open letter about this sacred site.

It is a powerful connection – the connection between the Original people, the land, the ancestral spirits and their sacred traditional sites. There is no ‘White Fella’ word for it, but that connection is very real. The Original people and the land they walk are energetically one and the same. And by desecrating their ancient sacred sites, it isn’t just the site that is harmed – the Original people and the Spirits of the land are hurt right along with it.

Environmental impacts

Although Rocla Materials development manager John Gardiner said the concerns of residents and the Aboriginal community “has been looked at thoroughly by competent people”, it appears that both Rocla and the local Gosford Council have failed to adequately address the community’s concerns about both cultural and environmental impacts of this proposal.

According to a recent Daily Telegraph report, the President of sustainability project Equilibrium Future Solutions, Ian Sutton, whose expertise is in water matters, said impacts on the area’s water table would put pressure on the already-endangered Spot-Tailed Quoll (pictured below) as well as the area’s hanging swamps, natural waterways, and the other species who rely on them for survival.


Furthermore, Gosford Deputy Mayor Bob Ward says the release of a council report just before Christmas allowed the local council to avoid scrutiny from the media and the wider community. Councillor Ward says he is “very concerned about the impact of the quarry’s expansion on the community”, and stated that “the report didn’t fully address” issues of “the protection of Aboriginal culture and heritage including Aboriginal women’s engravings, the effect on endangered ecological communities, the damage to the water aquifers, the disastrous impact on the nearby Australia Wildlife Walkabout Park and the problems associated with dust and silica settling on water storage”.

To a reasonable human being (one who isn’t motivated by corporate greed) the destruction of an ancient sacred Aboriginal site and potential damage to the area’s wildlife and environment deserve more consideration than the rubber stamp of a profit-driven state government and an incomplete council report released under the cover of Christmas. And, in the absence of due diligence on the part of government, this proposal must be stopped. Full stop.

Get Involved!

Despite the clear impacts of this proposal, the NSW Government has already given the go-ahead to Rocla Materials and work is due to commence any moment…. so every day counts. Auntie Beve and many members of the local community are working to stop the destruction of this sacred and beautiful land. And with your help, I am quietly confident we can do it.

To voice your opinion on the proposed mining development and help Auntie Beve protect this important ancient ceremonial site, please sign the petition to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell.

Alternatively, you can contact the NSW Premier and the Ministers for Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs directly:

Barry O’Farrell:

NSW Premier, and Minister for Western Sydney
Phone (02) 9228 5239
Fax (02) 9228 3935

Robyn Parker:

NSW Minister for the Environment, and Minister for Heritage
Phone (+612) 9228 5253
Fax (+612) 9228 5763
[email protected]

Victor Dominello:

NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Phone (+612) 9228 4333
Fax (+612) 9228 4392
[email protected]

About the author:

Andy Whiteley is a former corporate manager turned writer, editor and co-founder of Wake Up World. An advocate of peaceful revolution, Andy believes we are on a necessary path (albeit bumpy) to a renewed social model grounded in love, transparency, individuality, sustainability and spirit. Through his role at Wake Up World, he hopes to have a positive influence on that transition.

Andy lives in the NSW Central Coast region (Australia) with his partner of 13 years, WuW co-founder Ryan Mullins, and spends his (scarce) free time keeping fit and enjoying the beautiful nature reserves that sit, undisturbed, at their back door.

“Wake Up World, it’s Time to Rise and Shine!”

Sean VandenbergSean Vandenberg is a long-time member and resident film maker for the Forgotten Origin archaeology team. Sean has a professional background in TV production for the ABC and Foxtel networks in Australia, and has recently extended his work to include documentary production.

Sean is also an able ‘seeker-finder’ and an active participant in the team’s archaeological discoveries. His intuitive nature, and his sensitivity to Original culture and the Spirit world make Sean the only media representative the team – and the Elders who guide them – feel confident taking to the most sacred of sites.


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  • Ronald Andreassend

    ROCLA is an Australian company owned by NZ company Fletcher Build. I asked questions about Rocla and the mining in Utopia on their facebook 19 dec 2013 they responded on their page. The managing director of Fletcher build is an Australian Mark Adamson who was brought in to transform NZ`s biggest company. However a new board member is Ralph Norris mooted to be the Chairman at the end of the year when the existing chairman retires. Ralph is also an ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Trust. email me if you want any links or information. Good luck

  • Ronald Andreassend

    comments on Fletcher Build facebook page
    Ronald Andreassend: Sustainability is all good but what about the quarrying of Aboriginal scared sites by Fletcher Buliding company ROCLA due to start on the 20th at Calga? I would like to think that this is not the case as we woudn`t allow it to happen with scared Maori sites
    January 11 at 11:18am ·

    Ronald Andreassend :Is this mined owned by an company owned by Fletchers? .
    John Pilger’s Utopia: watch the world exclusive trailer – video
    Watch the trailer for Emmy and Bafta winning film-maker and journalist John Pilger’s epic new documentary about Australia.
    January 11 at 2:19pm ·

    Fletcher Building: Hi Ronald,
    Rocla is not going to quarry any Aboriginal sites at our sand mine at Calga. In fact, we are preserving the sites, and providing access for the Aboriginal community to them.
    Approval was recently granted by the NSW State Government to extend our Calga quarry. The community was invited to participate in the eight-year consent process and we have examined all the issues raised. After working closely with a team of independent experts we believe our plan balances business, environmental and cultural interests. No start date has yet been set for the extension.
    You can read more about Aboriginal heritage at Calga at the link below.

    January 15 at 11:11am

    Fletcher Building: Rocla can also confirm it is not a Rocla site in the trailer for John Pilger’s ‘Utopia’ documentary.
    January 15 at 11:12am ·

    Ronald Andreassend :Thanks for your responses. I`ll pass them on. There is a video/article from an elder known as Aunty Beve which covers their side. I don`t know if they were involved in the consent process. Much of it seems to overlap the treatment of the Aboriginals by the state. I suspect some Australians would not be happy with New Zealanders commenting on indigeous affairs but someone needs to if they don`t!. Its also good that your new board member Ralph Norris is also an Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. http://wakeup-world.com/2014/01/22/aboriginal-elder-speaks-out-about-sacred-site-under-threat-of-mining/
    Aboriginal Elder Speaks Out About Sacred Site Under Threat of Mining
    22nd January 2014 By Andy Whiteley Co-Founder of Wake Up World Video by Sean Van…See More

  • LibertyTreeBud

    I do not believe anyone has a chance. The creatures are pushing for the destruction of everything of worth and value to the human being. Our world; our lives are being wasted, ruined, destroyed and the human beings complaining about it are not far behind. We are not safe from them. Disarmed and dominated by modern controls, No one is immune to the destruction of our world by these entities. They will end by destroying the earth.