If you sleep in the shadow of the mountain you are destined to return #2
In 1978, Yuin elder Gubbo Ted Thomas wrote a letter to the Heritage Council of NSW explaining that he had to show the foresters the site of an initiation ground on Mumbulla Mountain because they wanted to build a picnic ground next to the site (Feary & Borschmann, 1999,14). The reaction of many Bega and Eden non-Aboriginal residents to the dispute over logging on Mumbulla Mountain was instructive because before 1978 they were unaccustomed to dealing with the objections of Aboriginal people when they wished to clear land (McKenna, 2002, 141).
The essence of the story can be accessed at the NSW Government Environment and Heritage site Biamanga, the Aboriginal Place at Mumbulla Mountain http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aboriginalplaces/Biamanga.htm and Biamanga and Gulaga national parks return to Aboriginal ownership http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/jointmanagement/biamangagulagahandback.htm , the International Union for Conservation of Nature site: Birthplace of the Yuin People http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/gpap_home/pas_gpap/paoftheweek/?8089/Birthplace-of-the-Yuin-People&add_comment
Gubbo Ted Thomas recalled that if he walked up the Mountain he would feel a vibration as he approached a sacred site but that politicians “wouldn’t know a sacred site if they tripped over one” (Chittick & Fox, 1997, 43). Evidence for the spiritual and cultural significance of Mumbulla Mountain, referred to by Thomas and in the websites above, is convincing. Tape recordings made by Janet Mathews and Louise Hercus in 1964, which remained stored in the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies archives until the late 1970s provide a link between Aboriginal elders that had participated in the ceremonies on Mumbulla and contemporary Yuin elders. An even more compelling source was the discovery by Egloff of an unpublished map in Howitt's papers that shows quite clearly that the 1883 Yuin initiation ceremony attended by him was held on Mumbulla Mountain. Egloff discusses these sources in his paper, Conservation, Researchers, and Aboriginal Heritage: A Perspective from Coastal Southeastern Australia (http://fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_baker/SRES3028/lectures_and_tutorials/Lectures/Resources/Of_the_past_for_the_future.pdf ). Egloff, Peterson and Wesson (2005) Biamanga and Gulaga: Aboriginal cultural association with the Biamanga and Gulaga National Parks (http://www.daa.nsw.gov.au/publications/BGfinalreport05.pdf ) is a detailed account that examines the recognition of the original Aboriginal ownership of Biamanga and Gulaga National Parks. Yuin women elders have demonstrated a deep spiritual and cultural association with Gulaga (Feary and Borschmann, 1999, 19). In 1990, one such elder told anthropologist Deborah Bird Rose, “You’ve got to understand, Debbie. I’d give my life for this mountain” (Rose, 2001, 38).