BOMBALA Shire Council was thrilled to be a finalist in the NSW Local Government Art and Culture Awards and they were even more delighted to walk away with a Highly Commended Award.
The awards were announced in Sydney last week.
The prestigious award was presented for council’s involvement with the Bundian Way project.
The Bundian Way is the ancient Aboriginal walking track from the mountains to the coast and is set to become one of Australia’s top long distance walks.
The shared history project has a diverse range of supporting activities including education, art and conservation.
It aims to provide employment and training opportunities for indigenous community members and support the economic and community development of the South East region of NSW.
Karen explained that the project is a major tourism project for the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council who have been working on it for a number of years.
Bombala council’s economic development manager, Karen Cash, said Bombala council was a founding member of the advisory committee which operates under the Land Council.
“The project is inspirational and gives us a chance to work with respected Elders such as Ossie Cruise and BJ Cruise as well as representatives from various government agencies, John Blay the project officer and chair of the advisory committee and project manager Noel Whittam”, Ms Cash said.
“As finalists, John and I presented at the Art and Culture summit.
“This was a fantastic opportunity for us to share and promote the story of the Bundian Way.
“Our presentation was very well received and created a lot of interest.
“People were amazed that the Bundian Way was older than the Silk Roads and was used for ceremonial and trading purposes before the pyramids were built.
“They were impressed with the gallery at Delegate, the amazing work undertaken by the Delegate Progress Association and the obviously close partnership council has developed with the Delegate Progress Association”.
Bombala council’s general manager, Ngaire McCrindle, said the Bundian Way project was a high priority for the council.
“It provides an opportunity to really drive tourism development across the whole of the South East and share the cultural history of the area with both overseas and local visitors.” Ms McCrindle said.
“We are very fortunate to have the walk pass right through Delegate, it will generate jobs and investment on top of economic and community development.
“Council is very pleased to be able to offer assistance to the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council in rolling out this important regional project”.
Mayor Bob Stewart, who attended the awards dinner, is a strong supporter of the Bundian Way.
“The Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council are to be congratulated,” Cr Stewart said.
“The Bundian Way project is beginning to really develop now.
“The gallery at Delegate is successful and John told me that the recent kids camp held at Jigamy Farm was very well received.
The first section of the walk around Eden is being developed and the research projects on yams are well underway.
“I am really looking forward to undertaking the walk.”
The award recognises the work undertaken by Bombala council to progress the roll out of the project including the partnerships developed, creating opportunities to share the indigenous history of the area and the establishment of the Bundian Way Aboriginal Art Gallery at Delegate.