Beetaloo beauty celebrates local connection to culture


Beetaloo beauty celebrates local connection to culture

Visitors to the Beetaloo Reservoir can now soak up the region's Aboriginal culture and history thanks to an amazing artwork by Nukunu artist Jessica Turner.

Erected at the reservoir's public lookout, the colourful artwork titled 'Wobma' details the cultural and spiritual relationship the Nukunu people have with land and water in the Spencer Gulf and southern Flinders Ranges.  

This coincides with this week's NAIDOC celebrations, an annual activity celebrating the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

SA Water's General Manager Customers, Strategy and Innovation Anna Jackson said the corporation is proud to help educate all those who visit the reservoir about the region's rich history.  

“We are always looking to continue building awareness of the stories and culture within our own workforce and the wider population and having something like this piece of art in a place for everyone to enjoy is a fantastic way to do this," Anna said.

"Having completed other artworks in regional SA, we specifically commissioned Jessica to create this piece for us to celebrate the reservoir and her personal connection to family and culture, and the end result is an amazing visual celebration of culture."

The artwork features two snakes - known as Wobma - wrapping themselves around the reservoir to represent the creation of creeks, rivers and waterholes in the area. The Womba is an important totem for the Nukunu people and shows the significant connection to each other and the Dreamtime serpent.

"The array of bright purple and pink dots signifies the sun rising and setting over the area, with a yellow outline representing the extensive walking trails connecting the various campsites around Beetaloo," Anna said.

"We're lucky to have the same piece of artwork hanging in our Crystal Brook depot, and it has proved to be a wonderful opportunity for our people to celebrate and learn more about Nukunu dreaming and gain a deeper understanding of the history of the region.

"The land we use to operate water services across the state has rich cultural history, and as part of reconciliation efforts we are learning more about this cultural knowledge and building better relationships with the local Aboriginal communities we serve."

Constructed In the mid 1880's and once considered the largest concrete dam in the southern hemisphere, the 3.2 gigalitre Beetaloo Reservoir is now the smallest of 16 reservoirs located around South Australia.





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