A DIGITALLY enhanced Indigenous walking trail is another step towards reconciliation in the community, one Kamilaroi man says.
The Tamworth Mountain Bike Park launched a new series of videos featuring Kamilaroi man Len Waters talking about significant Aboriginal sites in the area.
The videos can be accessed through QR codes on signage dotted around the park’s new trail.
Mr Waters said it was another step towards reconciliation.
“We look at back at my days on the mission, most of the work I do these days was, 50 years ago, forbidden,” he told The Leader.
“We weren’t allowed to practice culture or ceremony and language was frowned upon by the authorities.
“But, here we are 50 years later and people are lining-up to have culture introduced to their community, their schools.”
Mr Waters’ bike park videos explain the significance of the area and its connection to other sites in Tamworth.
He said Aboriginal people used to frequent the area “on their way up to the stone axe quarry”.
The creek in the area was a water hole and its gully runs down “to what they used to call the Wollaay Gayaa, which means the happy camp.”
He said the videos were an important tool for sharing stories and preserving Aboriginal history would be up to the whole community in years to come.
“It’s not just up to one or two people in the future,” he said.
“It’ll be a whole of community thing and everyone has got to take ownership and ensure that the traditional owners of this place are remembered well into the next centuries.”
Tamworth Mountain Bikers’ president Alyssa Rogan said highlighting the park’s Aboriginal history was a goal from the outset.
“When we were doing early work in the park, we found relics and it just brought home to us this was a highly used place for Aboriginal culture and we just wanted to respect that,” Ms Rogan said.
She also hoped the Indigenous trail and videos would draw more of the Tamworth community into to the park, not just mountain bikers.
Ms Rogan believed highlighting the cultural element to the wider community was a way to “build bridges”.
“Having the cultural trail here helps remind us of the history, background and the starting place of this land,” she said. “It’s a lovely space to be in and you can actually feel the history.
“We all share this space and that’s the history of the place, that’s where it started, I actually feel quite strongly about the past and building bridges and understanding that past.
“If we can inform others and they spend time here, I think it just helps build bridges.