Many people involved in Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare (WWUL) Group are interested in building a deeper understanding of Wiradjuri culture. However for many it is difficult to know where to start, or who to ask, in order to build this knowledge. As a result, we have only had limited collaboration with local Indigenous groups.
Together with the Wagga Rail Trail, WWUL developed the plan for a Cultural Walk along the Murrumbidgee River corridor. We successfully applied for a small grant through Landcare NSW’s “Working Together” Aboriginal Communities Engagement Program. This allowed us to pay Mark Saddler, a professional Wiradjuri guide, to lead our walk.
The walk along Marrambidya Bila (the Murrumbidgee River) started at “The Rocks”, a place which was traditionally used by women for washing. Throughout the walk, we learnt about Wiradjuri history, culture, language, lore and customs. We stopped to hear stories about the significance of local sites including Wollundry Lagoon, Tony Ireland Park and Marshalls Creek. We learnt about the importance of different species of flora and fauna found along the river corridor, before ending our tour at a place now bordered by the Wagga Lawn Cemetery, which has traditional significance as a sleeping place. The walk highlighted to us all the deep connection Wiradjuri people have with the land.