New initiatives provide tourism and cultural benefits

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The Bland Shire has two new tourism and cultural attractions following the official opening of the Yindyamarra Aboriginal Open Display and Mirri Ngurang Dog Park during NAIDOC Week.

The Yindyamarra display was developed by Bland Shire Council in conjunction with the West Wyalong Local Aboriginal Land Council utilising a $100,000 Stronger Country Communities grant from the NSW Government. Additional funding support was provided by the NSW Country Arts Support Program – Create NSW.

The stunning collection stands permanently at The Wetlands and features a number of significant indigenous artefacts and symbols which were all painted by local artists.

The lead artist was West Wyalong’s Kheely Turner from Bundyi Yadhaa while indigenous students from Ungarie Central School Ethan Robb, Allora Vinecombe, Joseph McKenzie, Madi Vinecombe, Archer Hale, Dean Hale and Mitchell Collins painted many of the artefacts with the help of Jon and Rhonda from Didgeridoos on Main. Jon also mad and carved the two Didgeridoos in the display. Meanwhile, a number of local students from Wyalong Public School have their handprints set in concrete on the slab surrounding the exhibition.

Lighting has also been installed to create a spectacular night time visual and maximise the cultural and tourism impact of the display.

The Yindyamarra display was officially opened by Bland Shire Council Deputy Mayor Rodney Crowe and New South Wales Aboriginal land Council Wiradjuri Region Councillor Leeanne Hampton and followed by a brilliant performance on the didgeridoo from Charlie Dodds.

Following the performance the large crowd were invited by master of ceremonies and Bland Shire General Manager Ray Smith to carefully cross the road for the official opening of the Mirri Ngurang Dog Park in Cooinda Reserve.

The dog park was funded through a $70,000 Stronger Country Communities grant and provides a safe off leash area for dogs to play and exercise.

With Wyalong’s location on the junction of two major highways, Deputy Mayor Crowe said the park was ideally positioned to attract people travelling with dogs to stop and visit the Bland Shire.

Deputy Mayor Crowe was joined by West Wyalong Local Aboriginal Land Council chief executive Linton Howarth to unveil the Mirri Ngurang sign before opening the park and its challenging obstacles for inspection.

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