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Welcome to Country by Graham Clarke - Paakantyi Aboriginal

Dear Visitor

Wunna Bunna Bidja

 

My name is Graham Clarke and I'm a traditional Paakantyi Aboriginal, and in my language that means, "Welcome to my land, my home, my place and my camp". When you come and see me, folks, that's what I will say to you.

You'll find me on the borders of Wentworth, New South Wales and Mildura, Victoria, at a place called Mungo National Park, not far from Balranald.

All around Australia and the Murray River region there are many ancient lands and beautiful places to see. The story of these places is more than skin deep. It's more than a photograph.

I encourage visitors to my region to listen to the silence of the place. Sometimes they look at me funny. But when you're on your back under the biggest night sky you've ever seen, with more stars than you even knew were there above you, you start to get it. I help people to feel what connects me and my people to this country. The spirit of my place, the outback.

Lake Mungo is part of the Willandra Lakes system. Back in 1981, it was listed as a World Heritage site and is now documented as one of the oldest places for human occupation in the world, dating back to Aboriginal people from around 60,000 years ago to the present day.

Lots of evidence has been found here of our people camping around the lake on the shores; it was full of water back then, with plenty of tucker for them to eat.

Mungo dried up 19,000 years ago. These days, the shores of this lake are called 'The Walls of China' or 'lunette' for it's 30 kilometre crescent shape of sand dunes, There's clear evidence to prove that this is where my people sat around the lake with their campfires and cooking hearths. With natural erosion of the shoreline, it now stands with gullies and eroding pinnacles of sand and clay in vibrant colours of the earth.

My company is called Harry Nanya Tours and for 15 years people from all over the world have been joining me on a journey back in time. So, folks, I'm not too far away, drop in and see me and I'll give you an unforgettable "Wunna Bunna Bidja".

When you travel to other parts of our land, make sure you share our Aboriginal stories, it'll make yours even more interesting!
Graham Clarke

Visit Thegoa Lagoon and Reserve | Wentworth
Mungo National Park | Mildura


 



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