Parkes Shire Council has collaborated with representatives of our First Nations community to curate an Exhibition of Wiradjuri artefacts to be housed in the Parkes Shire Library & Cultural Centre.
The Exhibition was officially opened on Tuesday 26 July 2022 by Mayor of Parkes Shire Cr Ken Keith OAM, the Exhibition Curatorium, fellow councillors, library staff and community members.
A place to showcase and share local Wiradjuri First Nation artefacts was identified as a priority project by the community as part of a project selection consultation for a grant opportunity under the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program.
Federal Member for Riverina, The Hon. Michael McCormack MP said, “The curation of a Wiradjuri Exhibition was awarded $35,000 from the $1.3M allocation for Parkes Shire projects under Round 1 of the LRCI Program. This funding will support Council in providing a welcoming and inclusive cultural hub where Wiradjuri culture can be shared and celebrated.”
The funding allowed for the procurement of a museum consultant to assist with the planning and facilitation of the display, while working closely with local First Nations community members to select artefacts, stories and curation of the exhibition.
Council also received funding from the Museums & Galleries of NSW’s Let’s Get Digital Program. The digital component of Wiradjuri Ngurambang complements the display and provides an introduction to Wiradjuri culture. The filming style is organic and seeks to highlight the importance of looking closely at and listening carefully to nature, our Elders and each other.
The Wiradjuri Ngurambang Exhibition curatorium members include Robert Clegg, Geoff Anderson, Ronda Sharpe and Irene Ridgeway along with guidance from Elders Advisory Group and Parkes First Nations Community Working Party.
Manager Culture, Education & Library Services Kerryn Jones said, “Wiradjuri people have lived in these lands for more than 40,000 years and we are proud to celebrate Wiradjuri culture in the Parkes Shire.
“Pieces in the Exhibition include a range of artefacts from local Wiradjuri community members, from the Henry Parkes Museum collection as well as pieces sourced from local Wiradjuri artists. Objects include hunting and gathering tools, grinding stones, digging sticks and spears, coolamons, dilly bags and ceremonial pieces,” said Ms Jones.
Exhibition curatorium member and Environmental Artist Ronda Sharpe said, “Our local First Nations community has been working with Council to bring the project together and excitedly gathering items for the Exhibition. The Wiradjuri Ngurambang Exhibition will give voices to our artefacts.”
The Wiradjuri Ngurambang Exhibition is now open for community members and visitors to our region to enjoy and learn more about our local Wiradjuri people and their culture; past, present and future. To learn 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 is part of Museums & Galleries of NSW’s Lets Get Digital initiative, proudly supported by the NSW Government though Create NSW as part of Arts Restart.
Photo and text from Parkes Shire Council.