The Barangaroo Delivery Authority, on behalf of the NSW Government, is launching the program to give visitors to Barangaroo Reserve a hands-on education about the site’s rich Aboriginal history and cultural significance.
The program, which will also include a specially designed package for school groups, is being developed by renowned environmental educator Clarence Slockee, who has joined the Authority as Team Leader, Visitor Services.
Slockee is an Aboriginal man from the Mindjingbal clan of the Bundjalung tribe situated on the far north coast of NSW. He has spent the past decade sharing his passion and knowledge of Aboriginal culture and the environment as an education officer at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, and is also well known to viewers of ABC TV’s Gardening Australia.
Mr Slockee said: “The Aboriginal Cultural Tour Program will bring Barangaroo Reserve to life with the stories of its First Peoples, giving visitors an overview of the history of the park and the ways in which it has been referenced throughout the site today – from the naming through to the native plants.”
The program starts at the end of November and will offer visitors to Barangaroo Reserve a hands-on education about the site’s emense Aboriginal history and cultural significance.
Through Australia’s ancient past to the present, Barangaroo is a place of spiritual and cultural significance to Aboriginal people. The reserve was developed from a flat container wharf as a re-imagined vision of what the original Sydney Harbour headland would have looked like during the time of Barangaroo, the Cammeraygal woman after whom the 22-hectare precinct is named.
Clarence Slockee leads a team of five Aboriginal Visitor Services Guides appointed by the Authority and trained in partnership with Eora TAFE NSW: Mary Mumbulla, Jessica Birk, Robert Young, Tim Gray and Harry Matheson. All bring a diverse range of skills and experience to the Aboriginal Cultural Tour Program from their own personal Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and a range of backgrounds including visual art and music.
The tours will provide an in-depth explanation of the Aboriginal history of Sydney Harbour and surrounds, the cultural significance of the site, and the various species of native plants within the park. They will also delve into the stories of Australia’s First Nations People and, in particular, the clans of the Eora Nation.
Craig van der Laan, CEO of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, said: “Clarence is designing a terrific program that will give visitors to Sydney an opportunity to learn more about Barangaroo the woman, the lives and traditions of her people, and the place which honours her name today. We are delighted he has joined our team, and also to have been able to offer job opportunities to five talented guides through our partnership with Eora TAFE.”
For the duration of the Welcome Celebration, which concludes on 22 November, the Visitor Services Guides are offering free general tours of Barangaroo Reserve each Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm. Click here for tour times.
Details of Aboriginal Cultural Tour times and booking details will be released soon on barangaroo.sydney