Prior to European settlement, the Muswellbrook Shire was occupied by people of the Wonnarua/ Wanaruah language group. The Wonnarua/ Wanaruah people traded and had ceremonial links to their neighbouring tribes such as Awabakal, Darkinung, Geawegal, Kamilaroi, Wiradjuri and Worimi. The Muswellbrook Shire Local Government area is located within the Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council boundary. Aboriginal people living in Muswellbrook Shire now comprise 5.2% of the total population according to the most recent ABS census data.
The Muswellbrook Shire Council Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee was established in 1997.
“Wannin Thanbarran” – A History of Aboriginal/European Contact in Muswellbrook and the Upper Hunter Valley, published by Muswellbrook Shire Council, is a collection of stories of the local history. It is available to borrow from the Muswellbrook and Denman branch of the Upper Hunter Regional Library. This book can be purchased from Muswellbrook Shire Council Administration Centre, or Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre during business hours. Phone 02 6549 3700 for details.
Muswellbrook Reconciliation Mural
The Muswellbrook Reconciliation Mural, located in Simpson Park, depicts the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal history of the Upper Hunter.
A salvaged scarred tree is located at Simpson Park Muswellbrook, in honour of the Aboriginal heritage in the Upper Hunter.
Working with Indigenous Australians
Muswellbrook Shire Council Community Services Team and representatives from the local Indigenous community have developed an interactive website containing detailed information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders history and culture, demographics, discussion on current issues and practice implications for people who work in the Human Services sector.