Front, mural artist Gilbert Laurie; middle from left, John Gibson, Danielle Parmenter, Aunty Thelma James, Professor Barbara Rugendyke, Cynthia McDermott; rear Dr Rob Garbutt and Uncle Mickey Ryan.
Front, mural artist Gilbert Laurie; middle from left, John Gibson, Danielle Parmenter, Aunty Thelma James, Professor Barbara Rugendyke, Cynthia McDermott; rear Dr Rob Garbutt and Uncle Mickey Ryan. Contributed

New book charts Indigenous history of Lismore Showground

A NEW book has been launched telling the story of the Lismore Showground area and how it was a gathering place for Aboriginal people for thousands of years.

The book called 'Banyam/Baigham Wandarahn: Reconnecting to Lismore Showground' tells two stories, Dr Rob Garbutt SCU cultural studies researcher said.

"One is about how the Showground site was a very important ceremonial meeting place, or wandarahn, for Bundjalung people, as well as for neighbouring Aboriginal nations. The other is a story of how the Aboriginal heritage signs and mural at Lismore Showground were created," he said.

"They were created through a wonderfully collaborative process, and this collaboration has continued through the excellent work of SCU media student Danielle Parmenter, who designed this book," he said.

The book was produced by the Lismore Showground Aboriginal Heritage Signage Project Committee and launched at the 2014 North Coast National Agricultural and Industrial Show.

The Committee included local Aboriginal Elders, Uncle Mickey Ryan and Aunty Thelma James.

"Many people don't know about the Aboriginal heritage, culture and history of this place [the Showground]," Uncle Mickey Ryan said.

"I hope people will read the stories in this book and educate themselves. I also hope the book encourages our children to be strong in their culture."

The Committee created three interpretive signs, a large mural and a small sign to explain the mural. The murals were installed between December 2013 and June 2014, while the signs were installed in January this year.

Aunty Thelma James said there was more work to be done at the Showground.

"In the third stage, we are raising funds to put a shelter over the Showground signs," she said.

John Gibson, North Coast National A&I Society president, is a strong supporter of the project.

"It is fitting that the Lismore Showground continues to be an important meeting place for people from across Australia, just as it has been for thousands of years," he said.

"This book tells that story."



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