Sunday, 26 February 2023

Tjilbruke Plaque Rededication

It’s Rod’s and my great pleasure to be with you today to mark the rededication of the Carrickalinga plaque on the Tjilbruke trail, together with members of the Kaurna community and other supporters.

As Governor, it has been my privilege to travel across South Australia and learn from First Nations people about their connections to country.

Storytelling is an important part of all cultures, particularly First Nations cultures.

As human beings we tell stories to make sense of our history, our place in the world, and to provide guidance to our community and future generations.

I am pleased to see a growing interest in the Australian community to learn more about the Dreaming, in an effort to better understand Aboriginal cultures.

As Governor, I have found it particularly interesting to learn about the Dreaming of the Kaurna people.

This has transformed the way I see a number of locations here in South Australia, and has added a new layer to my understanding and appreciation of the beauty and significance of these places.

One such place is Port Willunga. As regular visitors for more than 30 years, its marker on the Tjilbruke Dreaming Track has given one of our favourite beaches a deeper meaning.

When the trail was created in 1986 as part of South Australia’s 150th Anniversary celebrations, it was the first project of its kind in South Australia and is thought to be one of the first in Australia.

Its creation marked a partnership between Kaurna Meyunna descendants, who led the project, and cultural institutions, several councils, local landowners and businesses.

I particularly want to acknowledge today the leading role of the late Georgina Williams, mother of Karl Winda Telfer, in bringing this about.

The trail demonstrates how South Australians of indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds across generations can work together to share First Nations culture and stories with the wider community.

As time – and coastal weather! – has worn away at the plaques along the track, it’s been very pleasing to see Councils stepping up to replace them and consider appropriate changes or upgrades to the land on which they sit.

For example I note that, in recent years, out of respect for the cultural significance of the Tjilbruke Dreaming Track marker, the City of Onkaparinga removed the reserve’s outdoor fitness equipment at the Tutu Wirra Reserve and created an environment that is more in keeping with the natural world.

I thank everyone involved in the restoration of the Tjilbruke Dreaming Track marker here at Carrickalinga and the other markers within the District Council of Yankalilla and I acknowledge the indefatigable contribution made by Karl Winda Telfer.

Rod and I look forward to visiting other markers along the trail and experiencing first-hand the Tjilbruke Dreaming story and how it engages South Australians along this much-loved stretch of South Australian coastline.

Coming events