THE municipality's Aboriginal community now has a permanent presence on the Kiama Coastal Walking Track after dreaming poles were launched at a ceremony at Gerringong Town Hall on Thursday.
The poles, installed at the Loves Bay and Werri Beach ends of the track following a smoking ceremony last month, complement the existing information plaques on white settlers located along the track.
Artist and Gerringong resident Steven Russell said the original intention was to create plaques but he and his partner, Phyllis Stewart, suggested the poles could be a better alternative.
"Dreaming poles represent scarred trees, which aren't seen any more - they were used as signs to represent different communities and showed where certain things were, like sacred sites and burial sites," he said.
"It's a tradition that hasn't been practised in 200 years."
During a four-month period, Mr Russell and Ms Stewart created the designs on spotted gum tree trunks, carving traditional bush tucker, medicines and tools used by the Wodi Wodi, Dharawal people.
Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler delivered the official welcome at the launch.
"The dreaming poles represent the recognition of our area's long and rich Aboriginal culture, that is overlaid by a truly stunning coastal walk," he said.
Kiama Municipal Council's Aboriginal engagement officer Joyce Donovan said the dreaming poles would help to keep the culture alive for future generations.