Exhibition to present, share and celebrate our Wiradjuri culture

The Parkes Shire Council has worked with representatives from our First Nations community to organize an exhibition of Wiradjuri artifacts which will be housed in the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre.

The exhibit was officially opened on Tuesday July 26, 2022 by the Mayor of Parkes Shire Cr Ken Keith OAM, the exhibit curatorium, fellow councillors, library staff and community members.

A place to showcase and share local Wiradjuri First Nation artifacts was identified as a priority project by the community through a project selection consultation for a grant opportunity under the Local Roads and community infrastructure (LRCI) of the federal government.

Member of Parliament for Riverina, the Hon. MP Michael McCormack said: ‘The curation of a Wiradjuri exhibit has received $35,000 of the $1.3 million allocation for Parkes Shire projects under the first round of the LRCI scheme. This funding will help the Council provide a welcoming and inclusive cultural center where the Wiradjuri culture can be shared and celebrated.

The funding made it possible to hire a museum consultant to help plan and facilitate the exhibit, while working closely with local First Nations community members to select artifacts, stories and conservation of the exhibition.

The Council has also received funding from the Let’s Get Digital program of Museums and Galleries of NSW. The digital component of Wiradjuri Ngurambang completes the display and provides an introduction to the Wiradjuri culture. The filming style is organic and seeks to emphasize the importance of looking carefully and listening carefully to nature, our elders and each other.

Members of the curatorium of the Wiradjuri Ngurambang exhibit include Robert Clegg, Geoff Anderson, Ronda Sharpe and Irene Ridgeway, along with councils from the Elders Advisory Group and the Parkes First Nations Community Working Group.

Head of Culture, Education and Library Services, Kerryn Jones, said: “The Wiradjuri people have lived on these lands for over 40,000 years and we are proud to celebrate the Wiradjuri culture in the Parkes Shire.

“The pieces on display include a range of artifacts from members of the local Wiradjuri community, from the collection of the Henry Parkes Museum as well as pieces from local Wiradjuri artists. Objects include hunting and gathering tools, grinding stones, digging sticks and spears, coolamons, dill bags and ceremonial pieces,” Ms Jones said.

Ronda Sharpe, member of the exhibit curatorium and environmental artist, said, “Our local First Nations community worked with the Council to bring the project together and enthusiastically put together items for the exhibit. The Wiradjuri Ngurambang exhibition will give voice to our artifacts.

The Wiradjuri Ngurambang Exhibition is now open to community members and visitors to our area to learn more about our local Wiradjuri people and their culture; past, present and future. To find out more, visit: https://www.parkes.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/arts-culture/wiradjuri-ngurambang-exhibition/ or click the button below.

The Wiradjuri Ngurambang exhibition is proudly funded by the Australian Government’s Local Roads & Community Infrastructure program and part of the NSW Museums and Galleries’ Lets Get Digital initiative, proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW as part of Arts Restart.

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James C. Tibbs