Welcome to the Ngunawal past present and future website. This website has been established to accurately reflect the past, present (and future) culture of the Ngunawal people. As with many other Aboriginal cultures, the Ngunawal people have passed down traditional knowledge from generation to generation through word of mouth and Dreamtime stories. Through this website, the Ngunawal people hope to tell and pass on the rich history and cultural practices of the Ngunawal people to the wider community. Through exchanging information and sharing knowledge, we can all play a part in ensuring that Ngunawal culture exists for future generations.

The meaning of ‘Ngunawal’ is we, the people, or us. Early surveyors and historians in the 19th century spelled it Ngunawal (one ‘n’), so did Norman Tindale in his listing of Aboriginal tribes (Tindale 1974: 198).These sources also indicate that the original spelling was in fact Ngoonawal (rhyming with soon).

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Head Spirit of Ngunawal People "Budjabulya"

Our creator Budjabulya since the beginning of time has nurtured, fed and cared for the Ngunawal people since they first began to gather and dance and set down lore in these magnificent hills and valleys that we today call ‘Canberra’.

Budjabulya is a water spirit that lives in Lake Ngungara (renamed Lake George). Budjabulya created the rivers, valleys, hills, mountains, people, animals and plants. It is said when Budjabulya is happy there is plenty and when the spirit is not the water disappears and so does the food supply. That is why Lake George can become completely dry and why many ceremonies happened at this place to keep Budjabulya happy.