Local Aboriginal artists’ work to feature on river trail

Works will begin on a new Murray River walking trail that will feature works of Aboriginal artists following the awarding of a tender for the civil works at Wodonga Council’s November meeting.

The walking trail in the Gateway Island cultural precinct consist of a 5km loop and will complement the Eddie Kneebone walk at Gateway Village and the refurbished Burraja Cultural Centre.

The project is funded by the Australian Government through the Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal, Victorian Government through the Regional Infrastructure Fund and Wodonga Council.

The Victorian Government grant of $430,000 is also funding the refurbishment of the Burraja Cultural Centre with works due to begin in the new year.

The walking trail loop complements the cultural sites as well as providing a visual connection across the Murray River to the Murray River Experience in Albury including parts of the Yindyamarra Trail.

In awarding the contract at its November meeting, councillors were keen to see the project take shape.

In moving the motion, Cr Graeme Simpfendorfer said it was exciting for that area to commence such works and he looked forward to seeing it develop.

Seconder Cr Kat Bennett highlighted that the trail was being developed with all-abilities access as a priority.

Cr Hall spoke beauty of the site and the winning tenderer’s experience in working in environmentally sensitive areas.

“This trail will wind through some of our region’s most beautiful environmental areas and so providing cultural and new experience for those that walk or ride on it, she said.

Cr Mildren said the project represented a great idea and concept for the precinct and would add value for the two cities.

Four Aboriginal artists have been commissioned to create artworks for the trail.

The artists and council staff have met with traditional owners to share stories and points of interest in the development of the artworks.

The four artists – Treahna Hamm, Patricia Cerminara, Mick Bogie and Tamara Murray – are now creating concept plans for their works.

For emerging artist Mick Bogie, projects like this were important to him as a member of the Aboriginal community.

“It feels really inclusive and we can get our artwork out there and our stories out there for people to see,” he said.

For Treahna Hamm, her indigenous connection has always been around the Murray River.

“Outdoor public art gives artists the opportunity to create ‘story places’ where knowledge and culture can be shared and learnt from,” she said.

Works on the trail including the installation of the art works are due to be completed by June 2021.

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