Fanfare for opening of river walk
By ZOE SATHERLEY
AT FIRST, Rin Batt-Rawden, of Lismore, thought the man was eccentric, speaking in rapid-fire excitement about what her dog, Mango, was thinking as he eyed her sausage sandwich hungrily.
Soon she realised she was being honoured by advice from author and renowned dog psychologist, Martin McKenna.
Martin, from Stoney Chute, was one of the many highlights of Saturday's opening of the first stage of the Wilson's River Experience Walk, in Riverside Park.
Bundjalung Elders' Council chair Aunty Bertha Kapeen, of Ballina, was also there with friends and family.
She said she felt honoured and proud to see the history of her people acknowledged and respected as part of the massive display of interpretive colour panels that tell the story of our region.
"I think this sets a fine example for councils everywhere," she said.
"It makes Aboriginal people feel welcome and included in their local community."
Rin said she had especially come to the festivities to hear the story-telling session by respected Widjabal tribe man, Roy Gordon, at the burbang mah, or gathering place, that forms the focus for stage one of the 15-year, $9 million dollar project to make the Wilson's River the focal point of Lismore.