Aboriginal Community

Aboriginal Community

Aboriginal Community
The traditional owners of the land in Richmond Valley LGA are a part of the Bundjalung nation.  Different areas have different clans. These people refer to themselves as Gooris (not Kooris), and to non-Aboriginal people as Gubbers (Government). In addition to the traditional owners of the land a number of Aboriginal people live in Casino and come from other places.  For the purposes of this web page all Aboriginal people in Richmond Valley have been referred to as Goori as a mark of respect.

Statistical Information

Richmond Valley has the highest percentage of Aboriginal people of all of the Local Government Areas in North NSW.  Most of the Goori population in Richmond Valley are in the Coraki or Casino Localities. There are far more young people than aged Goori people in Richmond Valley and interestingly there are more male youth than female youth. Even in comparison to other Aboriginal populations, the Goori population in the Richmond Valley is young.   
The Goori culture in Richmond Valley is also quite unique.  Goori people are far more likely than other Aboriginal populations to follow a traditional religion or speak a traditional language. There are also a number of Goori people in Pentecostal, Uniting or Baptist Groups.
Statistics show that Goori people are disadvantaged on all major indicators of income, education, employment and housing.  It is quite clear for example that very few Goori people rent (most rely on Government or community housing schemes).
For further information about Goori people in the Richmond Valley, visit the 2011 Census Data page.

Community Comments

While in the process of formulating social plans for Richmond Valley Council in 2006, the Goori community was was consultated, revealing serious concerns relating to race relations. Both Goori and non-Goori people made comments that reflected that they believed that the way that they were treated by Government agencies and their experience of crime and  was determined by their status either as an Aboriginal person or a non-Aboriginal person.  Many Goori people also expressed their concern that the situation had become worse over the last few years.
The most common Goori concerns mentioned during consultations with them were related to employment of Goori people, access of Goori people to Richmond Valley Council and concerns regarding the relationship of Goori people with the police.  Many Goori people expressed a particular concern for the future opportunities of Goori youth. Concerns relating to transport issues were also commonly mentioned.


While a number of strategies were recommended in relation to Goori people, by far the most common and strong requests were for:

  • The employment of Aboriginal people at Richmond Valley Council
  • The development of formal consultative processes between Goori people and Council, see the Aboriginal Advisory Committee and Working Party page
  • Development and delivery of good cross-cultural awareness training across the area
  • The public celebration of Aboriginal events such as NAIDOC week


There are a large number of services for Goori people in Richmond Valley.  Many of these services are run by Goori people. A common complaint of Goori people was that non-Goori organisations did not often employ Goori people making it difficult for them to access that service. Some of the Goori services in the Richmond Valley include:

  • An Aboriginal Medical Service
  • Two Aboriginal Land Councils
  • Two Aboriginal aged and disability services
  • Goori services to manage CDEP
  • Goori child care services
  • Goori arts services


Council policies relating to the Aboriginal Community are listed below.