Wiradjuri Ngurambang Exhibition
Gawaymbanha, Yindyamarra-gu ngindhu Yindyamarra-gu ngadhu Yindyamarra-gu nginyalgir. Yinaagalang-bu gibirbang-bu
Gawaymbanha-du nginyalgir Wiradjuri-gu ngurambang-gu. Wiradjuri mayiny gadhaang nginyalgir nginha yanhayi. Mandang guwu.
Welcome, respect to you respect to me respect to you all. Ladies and Gentlemen also I welcome you all to Wiradjuri country. Wiradjuri people are happy you all here have come. Thank you.
Our Wiradjuri Ngurambang (Country) covers a large area of the inland region of New South Wales bounded by the three bila (rivers) Wambuul (Macquarie), Galari (Lachlan) and Marrambidya (Murrumbidgee). The Shire of Parkes sits north of the Galari Bila. We the Wiradjuri, known as people of the three rivers, have lived here since the Dreamtime or more than 60,000 years.
Our Ancestors lived in harmony with the seasonal cycles of the natural environment. They respected the fertile land that provided consistent food supplies including seeds, grasses and fruits that were supplemented by hunting kangaroos, possums, birds and emus. Their gathering places were along the rivers, creeks and billabongs that provided water, fish and turtles, and can still be seen today with rock formations and scar trees.
First documented contact with Europeans took place in the early 1800s and ultimately resulted in the loss of our language and cultural traditions, dispersal of our family groups to reserves and missions, and the removal of our children through different government policies.
Our Wiradjuri and First Nation cultures continue to reveal the connections stretching further back in time than previously thought. There is a growing understanding of the immense value of, and respect for our culture and knowledge as one of the oldest on planet Earth.
We need to ensure the protection of our culture, connecting past with the present and future generations. The Wiradjuri Ngurambang exhibition brings together artefacts found in the local area, representations of weaving, stories and images to showcase and share Wiradjuri Ngurambang to our community and visitors.
This Wiradjuri Ngurambang exhibition is a cultural gift to the Parkes Shire community, making visible a strong Wiradjuri history and future. Its development has been overseen by a curatorium ensuring that First Nations voices and understandings have guided this cultural display. The curatorial committee has included:
- Robert Clegg, Geoff Anderson, Rhonda Sharpe and Irene Ridgeway who have supported the selection of Wiradjuri artefacts and provided valuable cultural and language advice
- Margot Jolly (Museum Consultant) who has provided collections management & display advice
- Kerryn Jones (Cultural, Education & Library Services Manager) and Ali Standen (Brand & Corporate Communications Specialist) who have provided project management.
My Wiradjuri name means to keep, care, provide and regard, giving me responsibility for looking after culture and heritage. This is what I've been doing all my life. I was given this name Ngangaanha as a kid by the Elders of the Wiradjuri nation. Surveying Country is my life; finding, managing and protecting our heritage. This allows me to share the information for future generations; that we did exist, do exist, and will exist. The stones here are donated from people from all over this area; they want them to be shown and known.
garrama ngarru ngarru
I have provided Wiradjuri language guidance and advice for this project. I came to understand the power of language when I found personal healing by coming to learn my language, Wiradjuri. I am now an advocate for Wiradjuri language within the schools and the whole Parkes community, helping to teach people of all ages. I am a member of the Parkes Wiradjuri Elders advisory group, the Wiradjuri Council of Elders, and Media Director for First Languages Australia.
For this project I have continued to research and learn from the First Nations artefacts that showcase our weaving and agricultural practices. I provided a strong interconnection between the Henry Parkes Museum, Parkes Shire Council, and community, to secure loan items from the museum for this Wiradjuri display and actively volunteer at the museum to catalogue their First Nations archive collection. As a Wiradjuri artist, being on Wiradjuri country allows me to connect to my Ancestors and Mother Earth who provide me with natural grasses and inspiration. My journey of creating contemporary fibre artworks that represent Wiradjuri cultural artefacts and Yindyamarra (respect) for Mother Earth, is evolving.
I am a First Nations contemporary artist. In this project I have drawn upon my experiences in education and learning across two knowledge systems. I create relationships which resonate across both cultures, challenging my understanding through our Elders. For me, sounds echo all around from one culture to another, transforming us and connecting us like the process of birthing.
The Wiradjuri Ngurambang exhibition is proudly funded by the Australian Government's Local Roads & Community Infrastructure Program. This project is part of Museums & Galleries NSW's Let's Get Digital initiative, proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW as part of Arts Restart.
The Henry Parkes Museum has generously supported this exhibition with the loan of First Nations artefacts.
Awards and accolades
The Wiradjuri Ngurambang exhibition has been chosen as a finalist in the category First Nations Community Partnership
in the 2023 NSW Local Government Excellence Awards