Stories told by Uncle Greg Simms (Gadigal/Dharug), Aunty Marjorie Dixon (Bidjigal), and Uncle Assen Timbery (Bidjigal), curated by Uncle Peter McKenzie (Eora/Anaiwan) and Dr Danièle Hromek (Budawang/Yuin).
Just as the integrated artwork Guruwaal draws upon the narratives and histories of the local Aboriginal community, these stories are connected to the knowledges of place and the deep histories of Country that are embedded within the community.
The whale totem of the local mob reflects their heritage as saltwater people. These stories capture elements of the life and community of the Aboriginal people of La Perouse, and reflect their traditions and histories.
These stories are generously shared by Aboriginal Knowledge Holders and Custodians of the area local to UNSW. They may be heard from the bleachers of Alumni Park, designed as a meeting place that brings people together from many places.
Recorded at the La Perouse Museum, 4 May, 2022
Curation Dr Peter Yanada McKenzie and Dr Danièle Hromek
Djinjama Dakota Smith
Producer Sonia Maddock
Audio specialist Jim Atkins
UNSW Media & Communications Adam Phelan
With thanks to La Perouse Museum, Randwick City Council
Uncle Greg Simms is well known as an activist for reconciliation, a traditional woodcarver, a storyteller and an educator for Aboriginal culture. Uncle Greg’s heritage is Gadigal (whale people) of the Dharug nation and Gundungurra (water dragon lizard people). Uncle Greg grew up in La Perouse and lives in Western Sydney.
Aunty Marjorie Dixon is a Bidjigal Elder living in La Perouse. Aunty Marjie is Uncle Greg’s older sister who brought Uncle Greg up from a young age. Aunty Marjorie was a cultural advisor for this project.
Uncle Assen China Timbery is a Bidjigal Elder living from La Perouse. Uncle China is the cousin of Aunty Marjie and Uncle Greg, and the nephew of Aunty Esme Timbery, after whom the Esme Timbery Creative Lab is named. Uncle China was a cultural advisor for this project.
Dr Danièle Hromek is a Budawang woman of the Yuin nation. She works as a spatial designer, cultural designer and researcher considering how to Indigenise the built environment. Her work contributes an understanding of the Indigenous experience and comprehension of space, investigating how Aboriginal people occupy, use, narrate, sense, dream and contest their spaces.
Dr Peter Yanada McKenzie is a well-known Aboriginal person from the historic La Perouse Aboriginal community in Sydney. He has had diverse experience as a practising artist, curator, musician, project manager, university lecturer, overseas Aboriginal ambassador, arts grant recipient, researcher, advisor, and Aboriginal committee member in state and federal organisations. He uses the name “Yanada” as a mark of respect for his Sydney region forebears; the name means ‘New Moon’ and emanates from the Eora dialect of the Dharug Language in the Sydney region.