Property Australia

Yananurala acknowledges Country

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal August 24, 2021

A name from the Gadigal language has been selected for a nine-kilometre walk that highlights Aboriginal history and culture at places along the Sydney harbour foreshore.

[Cover image: City of Sydney]

Why we love this project:

  • Yananurala, which means Walking on Country, will share First Nations perspectives and stories through artworks and installations from Pirrama (Pyrmont) to Woolloomooloo, including Barangaroo, Ta-ra (Dawes Point) and Warrane (Circular Quay)
  • The walk was devised by Wiradjuri curator Emily McDaniel, who calls it “is an Acknowledgement of Country in its truest, most ancient form”
  • The walk will be marked by sitelines, the places that contain and interconnect the stories and histories of the Gadigal people and land.

The name Yananurala combines two Gadigal words: yana (walk) and nura (Country). The ‘la’ adds an instruction, encouraging people to go walking on Country.

“As you walk the shoreline, interact with public art and stories, hear whispers of language and place your feet in the water, you are introducing yourself to this Country so that it will remember you,” says McDaniel. “This is about you seeing what we see, feeling what we feel and hearing what we hear.”

According to Lord Mayor Clover Moore, the harbour walk is the next step in the City’s Eora Journey program of recognising First Nations culture and heritage in the public domain. She says the walk will “help further recognise Aboriginal spirituality and enduring presence, cultural heritage and contemporary expression in a prominent and creative way”.

A bara – the traditional shell hook crafted and used by Gadigal women for fishing on the harbour – has been selected as the icon for the walk to be used on wayfinding signage and maps. The crescent shape of the hook also reflects the natural coves of Sydney Harbour and the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Waanyi artist Judy Watson has created a six-metre-tall bara that will take pride of place on the Tarpeian Precinct Lawn above Dubbagullee (Bennelong Point), as a monument to the Eora, and one of the stops along Yananurala.

Other elements along the planned walk include installations that explain four sitelines or relationships between places of historical and cultural significance, audio and text-based installations that uncover hidden harbour histories and a public artwork at Pirrama, next to the Australian Maritime Museum, to recognise Aboriginal peoples’ relationship to water.

250821 - Project of the Week - Yananurala please credit City of Sydney

[Image Credit: City of Sydney]

The name was chosen following extensive consultation with the City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory panel and the local Aboriginal community,

Nathan Moran, CEO of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, says Yananurala highlights “the Eora and Aboriginal history and culture along the harbour foreshore area for the benefit of all”.

Beau James, head of First Nations programming at the Sydney Opera House, is a member of the panel. He says “naming brings Country to life”.

“I look at Yananurala as contemporary songlines. Our songlines have always been there. They are under bricks and water, but we’re bringing them up to the surface, and what we are adding to them now is a contemporary voice.”

Wayfinding will be installed in the coming months, with artists invited to create the first series of audio and text-based installations later this year.

Visit Barani to learn more on the Aboriginal history of Sydney.

250821 - Project of the Week - EmilyMcDaniel Image_credit_Katherine_Griffiths_City_of_Sydney_

[Image Credit: Katherine Griffiths - City of Sydney]