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The National Museum of Australia is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. Read more in our coronavirus statement

  • Closed
  • Free general admission

Nagganbi, gamaydha nhay Gamayngal-gulli ngura-nhung Gamaydha Ngaliyilangiil Dharawalwulawala madha nguranhung yagun ngaliyimanjang nhay madha nguradhawuliwa. (Hello, welcome, this is Botany Bay. This country is owned by the people belonging to Botany Bay. Our old people lived at Botany because it was their country. We live here because it is our country).

This is our country, Gamay — Botany Bay. Our people have been living here since time began. Our land, waterways and sky are part of what we refer to as 'our country'. Our spirit ancestors created our country and the various life forms within it, giving us our kinship, social structures and our lores.

Gamay — Botany Bay — provided Gamayngal, the people belonging to Botany Bay, the resources needed to thrive for many generations. Our responsibility to care for one another and our environment in a spiritual and sustainable way ensured our people not only survived but thrived.

In this part of our country you may hear and see different ways Aboriginal people identify themselves, like Gweagal, Gadigal, Bidiagal, Gamayngal, Dharwal, and Gadhungal. These names describe different layers of identity. Some refer to family, to the region where they were born and lived, the language they spoke, their connection to their spirit ancestors and the cultural status they held.

Our old people taught us that your language and your country go together, they cannot be separated. Our language gives our people a spiritual connection to our country including all lifeforms within it. We continue to use our language to assert our ongoing connections to our country.

We still describe our country by using their original names. Like 'bunabi' which means water source and is the name for the northern headland of Gamay. Or 'guriwal' which is where the La Perouse Aboriginal community was permanently placed 136 years ago and means 'the place of the bush pigeon'.

We call the southern headland of Gamay 'Gibia' and 'Gundal' is the name of the place where the crew of the HM Bark Endeavour landed. 'Gundal' was adapted by Europeans for Kurnell, which is still used today. Other local names like Tabagai, Yaraa and Towra are still used by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people around the bay.

And on behalf or our people we hope you enjoy your visit to Gamay.

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