Bushwalkers asked to help with lost site
■ A Yinhawangka heritage project is calling for any information from Tom Price bushwalkers about a gorge they were the last known people to access — all the way back in the 1960s.
The Yinhawangka people are working with heritage and environmental consultancy Terra Rosa on an intensive research project over land including parts of the Hamersley range.
It is part of a community project funded by the Yinhawangka Trust to record its people’s sacred land.
Now they are particularly interested in a gorge in the Nyimili range they believe current or former Tom Price locals might be able to help with.
Terra Rosa engagement manager Frida Blom said bushwalkers from Tom Price had a connection with the area.
“Inside the range there is a gorge that hasn’t been visited for a very long time,” she said.
“In the 1960s, the Tom Price Bushwalkers’ Association was there for some reason and found some ochre paintings there.
“They reported them to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and they were registered as Aboriginal heritage sites.” The Tom Price Bushwalkers’ Association no longer exists, but the Yinhawangka people and Terra Rosa are keen to speak to any former members who came across the gorge to help them find and identify the paintings as parts of the group’s heritage.
They also believe the gorge could hold more heritage sites and would welcome any photographs or hand-drawn maps giving more information.
The Tom Price bushwalkers are the last people on record to have visited the gorge, Ms Blom said, including even the Yinhawangka people.
“For Aboriginal people it has a lot of dangerous associations with bad spirits,” she said.
“The Yinhawangka people want to know more about any other materials in it so they can protect others.”
The area is very significant to the Yinhawangka people, holding a range of spiritual and mythical associations.
Yinhawangka member Roy Tommy said the project “means a lot in terms of history — the area has a huge history” for his people that they want to preserve.
Contact Terra Rosa on 9336 4645 or email@example.com with any information about the sites.