Tuesday, June 28, 2011


In 1988 the Goolarabooloo people- under the leadership of Paddy Roe (OAM)- established the Lurujarri Heritage Trail. Assisted by Lord Alister McAlpine-a local eccentric entrepeneur- RMIT University lecturers and the WA Heritage Council, they sought to bring people of all cultures and colours to come together to share cultural time in country. The trail follows the ancient living Songcycle, from Broome town up the coast 90 km to Bindiyangun, stopping at camp sites that have been used by Aborigines for millennia.

The Goolorabooloo Senior Law Bosses, Phillip, Joe, and Richard (Paddy Roe's grandsons), along with Teresa Roe (Paddy's daughter) and the extended Goolarabooloo family have requests from numerous to participate in walking the Lurujarri Heritage Trail with them. It will begin on Saturday the 2nd of July at 3pm, at the old Goolarabooloo hostel in Broome on Dora St, and will finish on the 9th of July.

The trail is an opportunity for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to walk together through this spiritually important country, telling stories, fishing, collecting bush foods, carving tapping sticks and most importantly connecting to each other and the country. Underlying all of this is the opportunity for reconciliation, which is evidenced by the strong ties the Goolarabooloo community has with non-indigenous people both locally and internationally.

This year is going to be extra special and significant for walkers and their cultural guides because the trail of the Songline like always will pass through Country (Walmadan) - or as it is known in English- James Price Point - the site where Woodside and the WA Premier Colin Barnett are planning to build Australia's largest LNG processing hub. Ancient ceremonial sites and burial grounds are located all along the Songcycle and at Walmadan, and some of these sites have already been desecrated by Woodside contractors. The Department of Indigenous Affairs are currently investigating serious breaches of the Aboriginal Heritage Act by Woodside and their contractors within the vicinity of Walmadan. It’s still not a done deal and still no Federal or State approval for the development.

On its 33rd anniversary, the Lurujarri Heritage Trail will continue despite the proposed destruction that Colin Barnett, Woodside and its partners are seeking to wreak on the this Sacred Songline. Once again people from all over the nation and the world will come together to witness first hand the deep cultural connection that the Goolarabooloo have with their country, and their willingness to share these connections, as they walk the Songline together.

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