Aboriginal involvement and culture


The Arboretum site and surrounding region sits on land traditionally known as Ngunnawal country. The National Arboretum Canberra acknowledges the original landowners, and respects the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, traditions and culture.

The Arboretum has delivered on commitments in the ACT Government Chief Minister Treasury and Economic Development Directorate Reconciliation Action Plan, including design and construction of an onsite Bush Tucker Garden in the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park at the Arboretum.

In celebration of indigenous Australian culture, Mununja the Butterfly Garden was established within the centrally located Gallery of Gadens, Depicting a dreamtime story of the Ngunnawal people, the garden provides private contemplative spaces for visitors to enjoy, and an opportunity for cultural dialogue and education.

Aboriginal involvement at the Arboretum

Led by a/g Executive Branch Manager, National Arboretum Canberra and Stromlo Forest Park proud Wiradjuri man Scott Saddler AM, the Arboretum has a proactive role in the celebration and inclusion of Indigenous Australian people and their culture.

As part of all Arboretum-led events, Indigenous Australian communities are invited to perform Welcome to Country, smoking ceremonies, traditional performances and other related activities.

Education and celebration of Indigenous Australian culture

The Arboretum has a Tourism Officer dedicated to the ongoing development of life-long education cultural programs, including talks, tours, and workshops.

These programs explore indigenous plant use, connection and care for country, basket weaving and traditional culture, and support the education cross-curricular priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.