Indigenous Services recently met with Elders and staff from the Dharriwaa Elders Group (DEG) at Walgett, north-western N.S.W. The DEG was established in November 2000 and over the years they have acquired and produced an impressive collection of materials that document the histories and cultural knowledge of local Yuwalaaraay, Gamilaraay and Ngayiimbaa peoples.
The Group took its name from one of its sacred sites - Narran Lakes - Dharriwaa (common meeting place). Members are Aboriginal people over 60 who live in Walgett.
The aims of the Dharriwaa Elders Group are to:
• support Aboriginal elders to resume leadership roles in the community, keeping active and healthy;
• promote local Aboriginal cultural knowledge and identity;
• develop the Walgett Aboriginal community.
Nathan Sentance and Ronald Briggs (Indigenous Services) with Virginia Robinson (Dharriwaa Elders Group) looking at commemorative Freedom Ride signage created by Dharriwaa Elders Group members. Photo by Wendy Spencer.
During the visit, Indigenous Service began a review of collection management functions for the Dharriwaa Elders Group and provided some library-related advice. The trip was a great opportunity for Indigenous Services to connect with another Indigenous community-based organisation working to preserve important NSW documentary heritage and culture. The two - day visit to Walgett was instigated through support from Museums & Galleries NSW to assist with planning, development, and maintenance of the collection housed at DEG premises in Walgett.