The Australian Medical Council is an organisation whose work impacts across the lands of Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian Medical Council acknowledges the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the original Australians and the Māori People as the tangata whenua (Indigenous) Peoples of Aotearoa (New Zealand). We recognise them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.

We pay our respects to them and to their Elders, both past, present and emerging, and we recognise their enduring connection to the lands we live and work on, and honour their ongoing connection to those lands, its waters and sky.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

Learn more
Understanding the lands where we live and work
The Australian Medical Council (AMC) recognises that our office in the ACT sits on culturally important and significant lands.  Our office is centred between two culturally and ceremonially significant landmarks of Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie. Ngunnawal people had once freely travelled, hunted and gathered where we work today, utilising the rich resources the land and waters have to offer. We recognise the Ngunnawal people, their elders past and present for their contribution to caring for these lands for time immemorial.

Historical understanding

The AMC recognises other clan, family and neighbouring nation groups of this region who through kinship and ceremony are connected to these lands. These include the Ngambri, Walgalu, Ngarigo, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri and Yuin peoples. We recognise that colonisation has severed many peoples rights and connections to country across this continent and that knowledge of place and country has also been heavily impacted.

The Ngunnawal people thrived in the ACT and surrounds for thousands of years.  Some of the earliest documented carbon dating proves people have been living in the region for at least 25,000 years. This also suggests they would have been here living through an ice age.  This demonstrates the ingenuity and resilience Ngunnawal people have, to not only survive but thrive through often harsh, differing and diverse circumstances.


Wilay designs – Caring for Ngunawal Country

Dispossession, right to access country

In the 1820s European colonisation had a devastating impact on the Aboriginal custodians of the Canberra region and introduced European diseases like small pox, and decimated the local peoples and their populations.[1] This was compounded by dispossession of their lands, being forced off the traditional lands for the establishment of Canberra.  When the ACT was officially established in 1911, the Aboriginal Protection Board forced all Aboriginal people living within its borders (including those granted land for farming) to be removed to Edgerton Aboriginal mission station in Yass.

An Act passed by the government in 1909 enabled the Aborigines Protection Board to remove any Aboriginal people – defined as having ‘the appearance of Aboriginality’ – from reserves and camping within or near any reserve, town or township. So empowered, the board in 1910 prohibited all Aboriginal camping close to Yass and compelled those living there – or at least all who could be rounded up – to move to a new board-managed reserve at Edgerton, 12 miles out of town.[2]

[1] Josephine Flood, 1996, Moth Hunters of the Australian Capital Territory, second edition, Gecko books, Marleston, South Australia 5033


Large river flowing through a landscape with tress

Black Mountain (top left) – men’s and women’s sites of ceremonial significance (Tyronne Bell, Thunderstone, Ngunnawal traditional custodian). The Molongolo River is the source of many important food sources including fresh water cray, native fish, turtle, Cumbungi reeds and roots.

A mountain is in the background, in front of it are a building and a large lake.

Mt Ainslie – Women’s site (Tyronne Bell, Thunderstone, Ngunnawal traditional custodian)

Our message

We recognise the disconnection and removal from land has caused a deep ongoing trauma for all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People across Australia. The policies that were put in place to stop peoples celebrating and practising culture, living by traditional lore and customs has had a generational effect on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People and societies, many still suffering from those impacts today. The Australian Medical Council strives to understand, recognise and assist in the healing process for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The Molonglo river runs through where Lake Burley Griffin lies today with adjoining creeks now laying underneath where Canberra city is situated. Ngunnawal man Richie Allen talks about the significance of the three rivers that flow through Canberra: the Molonglo, Murrumbidgee and Yass Rivers.

About the artwork

“This artwork is inspired by Country. There is a meeting place near the centre to symbolise coming together and the journey of cultural understanding, respectfully learning. Throughout this artwork you’ll find hills, mountains, and flowing waterways that tell stories of life.

Kangaroo tracks and the vibrant colours used bring to life the many native plants, animals and bush tucker found across Country.

This artwork captures not only the land’s beauty but also its cultural importance. It invites us to reflect on the connection between people and the land, and the balance that emerges from that relationship.” – Wilay Designs

Was this information helpful?