The City of Sydney has announced a new harbourfront walk that will pay tribute to the First People of Australia, in particular those of the Eora nation who inhabited the Sydney basin before white settlement. Running for nine kilometres, from the Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour to Woolloomooloo Bay, the path will feature a host of stories and artworks marking the history and living culture of Indigenous Australians.
Next week the City of Sydney council will vote on the plans for the harbour walk, which is being coordinated by Aboriginal curator Emily McDaniel. They’ll decide on a name (it’ll be in the local Aboriginal language) and a symbol for the walk that reflects the importance of the harbour and foreshore, as well as a series of eight installations that incorporate audio explaining the relationships between the historically and culturally significant sites along the walk; 12 text or audio installations that speak to the “hidden” histories of the harbour; and a number of artworks to be installed in locations including Pyrmont, Barangaroo (once known as the Hungry Mile), Tar-ra (also known as Dawes Point, where Indigenous woman Patyegarang taught astronomer and linguist William Dawes her language) and Circular Quay.
As well as new artworks, the walk will take in pre-existing pieces, including Warrang by Brook Andrew outside the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Wuganmagulya (Farm Cove) by Brenda L Croft at the Botanic Gardens.
“The harbour walk is marked by sitelines – places that contain and interconnect the stories, memories and histories of Country,” McDaniel said in a statement. “These are the veins of Sydney, a living and breathing place. The walk is an Acknowledgement of Country in its truest, most ancient form. We tread lightly and mindfully, with the knowledge that this site holds all the memories of everyone who has ever lived on this land.”
As well as bringing artworks to the foreshore, the walk is expected to bring business to Aboriginal-operated tour companies, and add new spaces for cultural tours and performances. It will also be part of the soon-to-open Bondi to Manly coastal walk, an 80-kilometre trail that links the two beaches via existing harbour tracks and paths.
The Eora path will be a collaboration between the City of Sydney, the NSW Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel will provide guidance.
The expected launch date has not yet been announced.