New public monument dedicated to Aboriginal culture and heritage

Sydney could have a new public monument dedicated to Aboriginal culture and heritage after Council agreed at its last meeting to set aside $5 million to help make it a reality.

The new contemporary artwork, to be created in or around Sydney Harbour, is one of several major art projects proposed to make up a landscaped walking trail acknowledging Sydney's Aboriginal history. The projects were proposed in an international research paper by Aboriginal art curator and television presenter Hetti Perkins and adviser Julie Cracknell.

Thousands of people told us they wanted to know more about Sydney's Aboriginal past as part of our consultation on the future of Sydney.

This artwork acts on the community's feedback to make our Aboriginal past more visible. It will build Sydney as a tourist destination to the rest of the world, boost our local economy and celebrate this ongoing living culture in the heart of our city.

The City has set aside $5 million in its 10-year financial plan to implement this important project, and Council will seek support from State and Federal Governments to help make it a reality.

The Eora Journey projects are:

  • Monument for the Eora (monumental) - a major 'flagship' public artwork to honour the Eora Nation in the City and its Harbour environs
  • Hyde Park Memorial: recognising Sydney as the meeting place for various Aboriginal nations over thousands of years. It could also recognise Aboriginal soldiers who served in world wars
  • Harbour Walk: an audio guided tour of Sydney's historic harbour edge, sharing Aboriginal stories from before the time of Bennelong and his wife, Barangaroo, through to contemporary cultural experiences such as the Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • visual and audio projections: highlighting the hidden history of Sydney's rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community after dark, this project builds on the City's two-year cultural mapping project of more than 60 significant sites
  • Redfern Tour and terrace: guided tours by local Aboriginal peoples telling their own stories of life in Redfern and a community-based project to transform the last remaining terrace into a living museum documenting the lives of families on the Block and
  • Place Projections/ Highlights Project which would use video projection to reactivate the 'memory' of specific places and events in recent Aboriginal history at key sites within the city centre.

The report also proposes that Memal (Goat Island), which is steeped in Aboriginal history, would be transformed into a sculpture park with artists' studios, family activities and culture tours, becoming a major new tourist attraction.

Council established an Eora Journey Public Art working group to oversee this project and develop an implementation plan. The City will also seek tenders for a Curatorial Advisor for the project.


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