THE Butterfly Cave at West Wallsend has been declared the state's 91st Aboriginal Place in recognition of the site's cultural, social and historical significance.
The Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council nominated the cave for recognition in 2012.
Environment Minister Robyn Parker said the declaration of Butterfly Cave marked a long journey for the local Aboriginal community to have the significance of the site formally recognised and protected.
“I am proud to be a part of today’s celebrations that acknowledge the enormous effort sustained by the local Aboriginal community, particularly the Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council, to have Butterfly Cave declared an Aboriginal Place,” Ms Parker said.
Ms Parker said that Butterfly Cave was used as a traditional meeting and place of ceremony by Awabakal women.
“It was a place that provided a safe haven for women to hold ceremonies, birth babies, bathe and teach young women the ways of the Awabakal,” Ms Parker said.