There was a great turn-out for Kang-o-meerteek’s community walk and talk at Mt Clay on Saturday 26 August.
It was exciting to see many new faces among the crowd of approximately 50 people, all eager to learn more about the Kang-o-meerteek project and the Indigenous heritage of our region.
The walk to Whalers Lookout was led by Wal Saunders, lead artist on Kang-o-meerteek’s Mt Clay sculpture proposal.
At the lookout, Wal explained why this site was so significant to the Cart Gunditj clan, the traditional owners of Mt Clay.
The elevated aspect gave the Cart Gunditj views over the whole of Portland Bay. They could see the large pods of dolphins, bait-fish and tuna that hunt in the bay, and the migrating whales that use the sheltered waters to calve.
It was not hard to see why the Cart Gunditj chose this place for their lookout. Under the clear and sunny skies on Saturday, you could see for miles over the township of Narrawong and out to sea.
Wal also brought along a new scale model of the sculpture he has designed as part of the Kang-o-meerteek project.
The final artwork will be approximately six metres tall and will resemble gum leaves flowing together like the flames of a fire.
The design is a tribute to the Cart Gunditj clan, who lit fires at Whalers Lookout to signal to other Gunditjmara clans that there were food sources in the bay. This tradition continued with the arrival of the whalers and sealers, with the Cart Gunditj acting for a short time as whale spotters.
As the sculpture enters the construction and installation phase there will be hands-on opportunities for community involvement on-site at Mt Clay—and there was no shortage of volunteers on the day eager to help out. If you are keen to be involved too, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back at the Sawpit Picnic Area, the walkers had more time to chat about the project over billy tea and biscuits. Big thanks to Katrina Mayberry, Colleen Hughson and Luke Foster for stoking the fires and pouring the tea.
A special mention must go to Glenelg Shire Mayor Anita Rank, who once again showed her strong support for Kang-o-meerteek by joining the walkers and sharing some lovely images and video on social media.
Thank you to Damian Goodman and Powerhouse Productions for documenting the day, Emma O’Brien for photos and social media, Catherine Bailey and Deb Saunders for organising the event, and of course Wal Saunders for sharing his knowledge and stories with us all.