McLean Street, Goondiwindi
Artists: Tanya Kirkegaard, Cheryl Moggs (Bigambul people from Goondiwindi), Karlene Duncan (Kamilaroi people from NSW) and Ian McCallam (from First Coat in Toowoomba).
The mural, “On the Macintyre River”, painted on the water tanks near the Old McIntyre Bridge was an initiative of Care Goondiwindi, not only in celebration of NAIDOC week but also in response to the “Connecting Country & People” project. The project aimed to engage and inspire Indigenous community artists from both the Bigambul and Kamilaroi people, thus the mural was created, reflecting the Aboriginal meaning of Goondiwindi.
Goondiwindi comes from the Aboriginal word “Goonawinna” which means “the resting place of the birds” and is depicted in the mural with a variety of significant symbols. There is the Brogla, a symbol of ceremony (dance) and the Emu, a totem of the Bigambul people, a symbol of identity, place and connection. The river used to be more like a chain of waterholes, connected only in good seasons, until the Hilton Weir was completed in 1942. The waterholes were the favourite resting place for hundreds of wild birds, hence the name “Goonawinna”. Traditional custodians, the Bigambul people, nomadic hunters and gatherers remain connected to the Macintyre River through song, dance and ceremony.