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  • Writer's pictureGregory Andrews

Yarning Goolay'yari on country

One of my favourite projects at present is the Goolay'yari Cooks River Aboriginal Inclusion Project. On 10 September, over 120 Aboriginal people including Traditional Custodians gathered by the Cooks River at Kendrick Park in Tempe for a Family Fun Day funded and supported from the Cooks River Alliance.

Over the past three months, Lyrebird Dreaming has worked for the Alliance to consult with Traditional Custodians and other relevant Aboriginal people connected to the Cooks River to co-design a new Aboriginal Inclusion Strategy. The Fun Day was an opportunity for parents, grandparents and carers to bring their kids and enjoy the River while yarning about the Strategy. A key measure suggested by community members was a new Joint Management Board with equal numbers of seats and power between Aboriginal custodians and the existing government mobs. Another significant suggestion came from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council to start a process to rename the Alliance and the River. One name that has been suggested is Goolay’yari which is a Pelican Dreaming story about the River.

On the Saturday before, a big mob of pelicans flew right over the River when I was there. I knew that was a good sign for a deadly event. Lauren, from Supply Nation registered Aboriginal business Walkabout Coffee, provided deadly tucker and good coffee. Barkinji man Derek Hardman ran wood carving workshops. And we also had a jumping castle and footies for all the kids.

Check out the full list of community ideas for greater Aboriginal inclusion on the Cooks River here. And feel free to contact me directly for more information.

Lee and Derek yarning with Traditional Custodian Nadeena by the River.

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