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Opening of Swan Reserve

Redeveloped Swan Reserve officially opened

News Article Date: 
Monday, 1 December 2014

A beautiful native garden, play space and an area acknowledging the region’s indigenous heritage are among features of the redeveloped Swan Reserve.

The transformed reserve was officially opened by Warrnambool Mayor Cr Michael Neoh on November 28.

Cr Neoh said the reserve was a wonderful demonstration of many community groups and individuals working collaboratively to produce a great outcome.

He said along with the Civic Green, Swan Reserve was a valuable green space within the city centre.

The opening event included a smoking ceremony conducted by Aboriginal Elder Rob Lowe Senior. This took place on specially cut bluestone in an area of the reserve called a marrung – a gathering place which recognises the six tribes which exist in the Maar nation of the South West.

The reserve also features a series of decorated message poles created by a group of 22 students who worked with indigenous artist Tracey Roach and Mr Lowe.

St Joseph’s Primary School student Meg Attrill and Warrnambool Primary School student Tijana Kelly spoke at the opening.

Meg said students learnt some Aboriginal symbols and that etching was the main technique in regional indigenous art.

“We etched our own stories and explored the travels and milestones we have had in our own short lives,” she said.

“This activity was followed up with stories from Gunditjmara Elder Rob Lowe who told us about what it was like growing up and going to school as an indigenous person,” Meg said.

Tijana said the blue on the poles represented the colour of the ocean and St Joseph’s Primary while the autumn colours represented Warrnambool Primary.

“Both St Joseph’s and Warrnambool Primary share a pole with represents the coming together of our school communities.

“Each school has two more poles, one to represent where we have come from, our past, and the second, their hopes for the future, where we hope our community as a whole comes together.

“It is my hope and that of our schools that the poles spark discussion so that everyone can discover and reflect upon our message ‘healing the past – hope for the future’.”

The works constituted Stage II of a $350,000 joint Council and State Government project. Stage I delivered an upgrade of City Kindergarten which was completed in late 2013.


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