Our history
About Awabakal

Our history

In 1973, conversation around the formation of a community-focussed Aboriginal organisation in Newcastle began to rumble.

Over 40 years on and Awabakal has grown to become a leading Aboriginal organisation in New South Wales.

Many challenges were overcome to build the organisation to where it is today. Commencing business in 1975, Awabakal’s former identity – Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative Limited – was officially registered in February 1977.

This was the genesis of an organisation that has grown to become one of the largest Aboriginal community-owned and run organisations in New South Wales – a leading example of Aboriginal community power in Australia.

In 1977, Awabakal’s objectives were broad and centred around providing services in the areas of employment, culture, health, welfare, sport, housing and education.

A brief history of the foundations of Awabakal Ltd.

At this time, these objectives were transformed into a list of aims for the organisation, which, with the hard work of our founders, became a reality. Our aims in 1977 included:

  • Establish a health care centre
  • Reclaim sacred sites
  • Establish an Aboriginal pre-school
  • Hold cultural camps for members of the community

In November 2014, Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative Limited was renamed Awabakal Ltd.

From 1977 to present, Awabakal has been committed to providing empowerment to the Aboriginal communities of Newcastle, the Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens through the delivery of quality services.

Awabakal would like to recognise everyone who has played a part in building this organisation. It is important not to forget the people who had this vision and made it happen. We thank them for creating a lasting legacy.

Our Acknowledgement of Country

We would like to acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional people of each Country we service and than them for allowing us to work on their traditional lands.

Saretta Fielding explaining the 'Awabakal Now' 40 year artwork
Awabakal are the leading medical service provider for our people