There is deep sadness in the community at the passing of Arakwal elder and matriarch, Dulcie Joan Nicholls, nee Kay, who was a proud Bundjalung woman born on Country at Tallow Creek, Byron Bay, October 21, 1929.
Aunty Dulcie, as she was known throughout the Byron Shire community, was an honoured and respected traditional custodian of Byron Bay, where she lived for most of her life.
Aunty Dulcie, alongside her sisters, was pivotal in the recognition and preservation of Arakwal National Park after a very long Native Title fight. The land was handed back to Dulcie and the Arakwal family in 2019.
It was one of three Indigenous Land Use Agreements with local councils, land councils, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Community groups.
Aunty Dulcie also spent countless hours welcoming people to her Country in many events across Arakwal Country – many a Bluesfest and NAIDOC week were opened with her voice.
Strength, integrity and humour
Her strength, integrity and humour always shone through in her manner and actions, and she was a humble, gentle soul who appreciated the coastal lifestyle, collecting foods from Country and celebrating her cultural achievements and successes.
Aunty was a loving mother to daughters Shirley Nicholls and Theresa Nicholls, and mother-in-law to Reg Clark.
She was a cherished grandmother to Nathan Nicholls, Rhiannon Clark, Nickolla Clark and Kaitlyn Clark, and a great grandmother to Chase Hunter Nicholls.
Aunty Dulcie passed peacefully at Coolamon Villa Nursing Home in Mullumbimby on Sunday 19 September, aged 91.
Funeral costs Go Fund Me
Aunty Dulcie’s family say, ‘Sadly Dulcie did not have a funeral fund, and we would be extremely grateful for any donations from family, friends and community members to give Dulcie the beautiful send off she deserves’.