Recent anthropological research on Aboriginal cultural heritage and management has clearly identified that all land is significant to Aboriginal people, as virtually all land within NSW is associated with Aboriginal cultural heritage. The significance of native vegetation to Aboriginal people has also been recognised as a tangible link to and part of their cultural heritage and fundamental in protecting and maintaining the integrity of significant Aboriginal sites.
All Aboriginal sites are significant because they are proof of occupancy by the traditional owners and constitute an inheritance for their descendants. Aboriginal sites and places are also significant in that they are part of living Aboriginal cultures. The significance of sites and places varies and is based on the associated cultural aspects which determine the cultural protocols that are associated with, and are a part of, the sites themselves. The degree to which these sites are considered significant is entirely the realm of the elders who are the holders of this knowledge as it has been handed down through Aboriginal 'common' law.
Researchers are increasingly hesitant to base their work on assumptions of what constitutes Aboriginal values, perceptions or significance. It is emerging practice for Aboriginal communities to be consulted regarding research into Aboriginal values. Ref 18