A NSW Government website

Koalas and traditional land management

Through the Dreaming, cultural practices, ceremonies and kinship networks, Aboriginal peoples managed their lands for tens of thousands of years.

Knowledge of the land and its management is based on deep spiritual connections with Country. This knowledge is often referred to as Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) or Indigenous Knowledge.


An Aboriginal man in paint with boomerangs

Accumulated over thousands of years, Traditional Ecological Knowledge describes and defines how humans interact with Country to ensure healthy ecosystems, plants, animals and people.

This includes successfully managing the land to support koala habitat.

When Europeans arrived in Australia, Traditional Ecological Knowledge was largely ignored. Many of the threats facing koalas today are the result of human land management practices that are not aligned with First Nations land management.

The term ‘Country’ is often used by many Aboriginal peoples to describe a place or area, their family connections, and their relationship to that location. It is a complex term, and should not be confused with how ‘country’ is used in Standard Australian English.


A green landscape with smoke from a cultural burn rising at the centre
Aboriginal content on these pages has been compiled and reviewed by the Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council and Flying Fish Blue.
The term ‘First Nations’ recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the sovereign people of this land. It recognises various language groups as separate and unique sovereign nations.