Saturday, October 05, 2019

Walgett, Brewarrina, Bourke, Wilcannia and Menindee Lakes

Yaama Ngunna Baaka Corroboree
Tour 2019, Wilcannia.
Photo by - Mark Merritt,
courtesy of Earthling Studios P/L

I attended the Yaama Ngunna Baaka Corroboree Festival, from 28 September to 2 October, in western NSW. This was by bus from Sydney to Walgett, Brewarrina, Bourke, Wilcannia and Menindee Lakes, then train from Dubbo to Sydney. Mat Ward produced a detailed blog of the trip, there is the Water for the Rivers Facebook Page,
so I will just provide a few reflections of my own.

Sometimes you see a photo, and think: that is not real: it was staged: they added the smoke and colored lights.  Well
Mark Merritt's photo of the Corroboree at Wilcannia looks too magical to be real, but I am one of those dots around the circle: that is what it looked like. Leaving early, crossing the old lift bridge over the river to the campsite, I looked back and the moon had risen directly over the ring, the smoke hung low.

While I have written about the problems of telecommunications, and e-learning in regional Australia, this was an academic exercise conducted at a distance. There were two buses, two trucks for supplies, and a convoy of cars. It is rare for me to travel long distances with a large party, and at times voices were raised. But mostly it all worked out.

One highlight were the Brewarrina Fish Traps (Baiame’s Ngunnhu), with a tour by staff from the Brewarrina Aboriginal Cultural Museum. The fist traps may be the oldest existing human made structure.

Save Our Rivers by Copyright © 2019 Mundagutta Bruce Shillingsworth - All Rights Reserved.
 Save Our Rivers by
Bruce Shillingsworth 2019.
You may have missed this year's tour, but the Save Our Rivers Tshirt is still available.

Indigenous community say they've lost their culture to water mismanagement, by Aneeta Bhole SBS, 18 October 2019

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