Gurindji Elders unveiling a sign to the Wave Hill Walk-Off Walking Track at the Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation.
The Gurindji Aboriginal Corporation and Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, in partnership with the University of Melbourne Bower Studio, have revitalised the historic 1966 Wave Hill Walk Off track in the Northern Territory.
The track was heritage listed 10 years ago, and with funding from the Australian and Territory governments, interpretive signage and rest areas have been constructed. The track begins at Jinparrak (Old Wave Hill Station) and ends at the gravesite of leader Vincent Lingiari.
The work to upgrade and maintain the facility has been undertaken by Gurindji Aboriginal Corporation and Karungkarni Art staff, Community Development Programme participants and students from Bower Studio.
Thousands attended the grand opening which took place at the Freedom Day Festival in 2016, held to honour the 50th anniversary of the Wave Hill Walk-off and the birth of Aboriginal land rights.
Vincent Lingiari’s granddaughter, Selma Smiler, says restoring the track has fostered strength in community spirit.
“We want to keep the Gurindji alive for future generations. We’re proud to tell the story along the Walk-Off track. My grandfather would be proud too,” Selma says.
Since its opening, the track has attracted increasing interest from visitors including schools, international tourists and leadership groups – all keen to learn about the iconic Gurindji story.
The three bough shelters along the track have been recognised for their innovative design, winning an award from the Australian Institute of Architects in 2017.