Lost but Not Forgotten memorial plaque
A joint partnership between the Aboriginal community and Kempsey Shire Council has enabled dozens of unmarked graves to be acknowledged and remembered at the East Kempsey Cemetery. A special memorial plaque has been set in a large boulder at the cemetery and was unveiled on Tuesday, 19th December 2006.
The East Kempsey Cemetery was surveyed using non-destructive radar as part of the Council's action plan for reconciliation, and through consultation with the Dunghutti Aboriginal community the need for an appropriate memorial was established. Dozens of graves, some of which are up to 100 years old were detected through the survey. Due to the age of some of the graves, accurate marking of a precise site is near impossible, so a joint project between the community and Council has resulted in a fitting memorial boulder and plaque marking the area.
The boulder was chosen from Thurgood's Haulage at a quarry at Crescent Head through consultation with the Dunghutti Elders of the Booroongen Djugun Aboriginal Corporation, the Local Aboriginal Land Council, Council's Aboriginal Liaison Officer and Booroongen Djugun's community support officer. The NSW Department of Environment and Conservation assisted with funding of the plaque. Wording on the plaque was put together by the Elders and support officers.
This project marked a significant step forward in reconciliation in Kempsey and is seen as a fitting spiritual tribute to lost souls.
Photo from the Macleay Argus showing Mayor Betty Green and Aunty Ruth Campbell unveiling the "Lost but not Forgotten" memorial plaque at East Kempsey Cemetery.
Stage 3 of this project, in consultation with the Dunghutti Aboriginal Community and particularly the Elders, the wording for the memorial Plaque.
Funding for the Memorial Plaque was contributed by the Department of Environment and Conservation Northern Aboriginal Heritage Region unit for site management and protection, through their Aboriginal Heritage and Conservation Project funding.
The memorial boulder was chosen through the consultation process and donated by David Thurgood of Thurgood Haulage Kempsey.
Debra Morris, Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Kempsey Shire Council and Amie McElroy, Aboriginal Community Support Officer, facilitated and supported the Dunghutti Aboriginal Community throughout this process.