CROWNE PLAZA SOP
‘If the Earth Could Speak’
“In my language, Eora means ‘here’ or ‘from this place’, so this is what the people from the clouds have named my home – ‘Eora’.
My family and I are part of the Wangal Clan within Eora Nation and are bonded by a common language, strong ties of kinship, and a deep connection with the land. We are lucky to have a rich salt-water economy, where fish is available all year round. Ever since I can
remember, my father has fished from the shoreline using multi-pronged spears tipped with bone, whilst my mother and I paddle along side in our bark canoes (Nowies) across the harbour casting lines made from the bark of Kurrajong and hibiscus trees. We only catch enough fish for our immediate needs.
Our territory of the Wangal begins at Long Cove, passes Goat Island, rounding the Balmain Peninsula, and running west along the south shore of the River, to The Flats where the salt-water ends and freshwater begins. The environment of The Flats – The salt marsh, reed swamps and mudflats, create a rich fishing ground and source of mud oysters, shellfish, crustaceans, ducks and other water birds.
The water is shallow making for great fishing. My family and I do not feel like we own the land, but rather we belong to the land and feel great appreciation and responsibility towards it. We are grateful for every element we can harvest and we repay and return to land in any way we know how.
As I grew up, my friends and I would travel further into the East of Eora where we would create artwork within the sandstone at the ocean basin. We would create galleries made up of our heroes, our clubs, our shields, and our friends – the whales, sharks, fish, kangaroos, Echidnas, birds and lizards. I guess you could say these drawings will be an eloquent witness to our culture, art and spiritual beliefs in the future.
In the evenings my brothers, as expert firestick farmers, burn off scrub near the river so that the ash fertilizes the soil pushing forth fresh green shoots of grass which attract our friends – the kangaroos and wallabies, making hunting easier and allowing us to trap smaller animals in the park like spaces between the large trees which remain.”