Cultural trail in the works along Ovens River
AN Elders Rock has been placed at Apex Park to honour local community leaders every year on the anniversary of National Reconciliation Week.
It’s an idea thought of by the late Uncle Wally Cooper, who passed away last December, and it will form part of the Bullawah Cultural Trail, a path that stretches 2.4km along the Ovens River in Wangaratta.
The $180,000 trail will tell a story of the area’s Aboriginal heritage and how a local tribe has lived historically and to the present day.
A large crane delivered the 20 tonne rock during February and it will signify the beginning of the trail.
Uncle Wally was a highly respected Elder whose pride in his Aboriginal heritage and message for hope for the future inspired many.
“This is a really exciting step toward achieving the Elders Rock Project and we are pleased that Uncle Wally’s passion for reconciliation will continue and leave a legacy for future generations,” Central Hume Primary Care Partnership’s Chris Thorne said.
“Each year during National Reconciliation Week, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community will publicly recognise local community leaders in a special cultural ceremony and will unveil their handprints on the Elders Rock.”
The large granite rock, which will form the foundations for the sculptures, has also been placed along the trail.
Artists Anderson Hunt and Paul Blizzard in Wangaratta selected rocks from Mawsons Quarry.
The rocks will be home to their much anticipated sculptural artworks they are developing with local Elders.
Chair administrator Ailsa Fox said “it’s great to see this project come together, there will be a lot happening in the coming months and it is fantastic to see relationships strengthen between Indigenous and non-indigenous people in the local community who are all working to achieve a shared goal”.
The Bullawah Cultural Trail is due for completion this August.
This project was made possible through grants from Regional Development Victoria and Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and the Rural City of Wangaratta.
THE BEGINNING: A crane was used to position an Elders Rock at Apex Park during February and it will act as the start of the Bullawah Cultural Trail.