Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage sites mys­tery solved

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Ali­cia Perera

The mys­tery of Yin­hawangka her­itage sites buried deep in a Pil­bara moun­tain range and only seen by bush­walk­ers decades ago has ended, thanks to some de­ter­mined his­tor­i­cal de­tec­tive work.

The Yin­hawangka Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion wanted to learn more about tra­di­tional sites in the Ny­im­ili Range be­tween Tom Price and Parabur­doo as part of a com­mu­nity pro­ject.

In Oc­to­ber Pil­bara News ran an ar­ti­cle call­ing for in­for­ma­tion from lo­cal bush­walk­ers ac­tive in the 1970s, who were the only known peo­ple to have come across the sites. Their dis­cov­ery prompted the Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Affairs to reg­is­ter them in 1975.

When no one came for­ward, the cor­po­ra­tion tried other av­enues.

Ar­ti­cles from for­mer Pil­bara news­pa­per Hamer­s­ley News stored at the State Li­brary of WA re­vealed the bush­walk­ers were in fact the Hamer­s­ley Range Bush­walk­ers Group, es­tab­lished in 1974 and based in Parabur­doo.

The cor­po­ra­tion found some of their orig­i­nal cor­re­spon­dence about the sites and was able to con­tact their for­mer sec­re­tary.

Landgate records also showed that group was re­spon­si­ble for sug­gest­ing the gorge’s name of Bush­walk­ers Gorge, as well as Mt Truchanas which they named af­ter Tas­ma­nian en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist Ole­gas Truchanas.

Yin­hawangka Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion im­ple­men­ta­tion man­ager An­drew Ea­stick said it had been a ma­jor re­search ef­fort be­cause the Ny­im­ili Range was largely undis­cov­ered.

“In that whole Ny­im­ili Range there are only two fea­tures that are ac­tu­ally named, and that is Bush­walk­ers Gorge and Mt Truchanas,” he said.

“It’s very rugged. Our work has been com­pleted for the mo­ment and a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ad­di­tional sites of Abo­rig­i­nal ac­tiv­ity have been iden­ti­fied.”

Mr Ea­stick said the sites had im­por­tant her­itage value.

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