ENVIRONMENTAL art was unveiled with the Black Dolphin ‘Wubaray of Worimi Barray’ sculpture at Bennetts Beach, Hawks Nest, on Monday, 15 May 2023.
Initiated by the Myall Koala and Environment Group (MKEG), Wubaray contains various examples of common pollutants that too-often end up in our waterways.
An accompanying sign spotlights decomposition periods for the pollutants, some lasting centuries, some forever.
“Over two years ago, it was serendipitous that we had a Black Dolphin ‘Wubaray’ in mind at the Koala Group,” Richard Streamer, President of MKEG told NOTA.
Elder Auntie Liz of the Worimi Wubaray Local Aboriginal Land Council explained, “Wubaray is a Worimi Bakuwi (totem) of extreme importance to us; our ways of knowing, being and doing all come from Wubaray’s high intelligence, hunting skills, adaptability.
“Worimi People and Wubaray are one and the same.”
“As Elders, we are proud to acknowledge this woven-like sculpture of Wubaray, the Black Dolphin, as one of the increasing numbers of works honouring Worimi Barray,” Auntie Liz McEntyre announced, before reading from ‘The Solution to Pollution’.
“The public art gives visibility around environmental issues and the problematic plastics plaguing our waters.”
After Jan Collison’s research, Wubaray was sculpted by Melbourne-based Michael Walker, who always uses recycled materials, and kindly donated the sculpture.
Wubaray’s journey to Bennetts Beach was long and fraught with COVID freight delays.
“Thanks to Neil and Therese Smith for collecting it, and all members of MKEG involved in receiving, filling and erecting the Dolphin, with the support of the Worimi, TGHN SLSC, the Progress Association, the Lions Club, and Glen Henry for the sign,” Mr Streamer continued.
“Despite painful paperwork, we thank MidCoast Council, especially Rhett Patteson, and also Rachel Piercy from Manning Regional Art Gallery for their enthusiastic support.”
“We invite you to visit the Murrook Cultural Centre in Williamtown later this year, where, with the very latest technology, you can see and hear the story of Wubaray, as told by Uncle Graham Russell himself,” Auntie Liz said.
By Thomas O’KEEFE