Funded by the Federal Office of Heritage and supervised by the Liverpool Plains Aboriginal Advisory Committee, the Kamilaroi A Highway and a People project was installed at the Visitor Information Centre at Willow Tree recently, with plans for an official opening during NAIDOC week during July, 2014.
The Kamilaroi Highway is the only highway in Australia named after an aboriginal nation and has many items of Aboriginal heritage including the Brewarrina Fish Traps, which many regard as the oldest man-made object in the world.
The Willow Tree installation with its ochre imprinted circular walkway includes interpretative panels, sculptures and a welcome to country in both English and the Gomeroi language, and takes prominence in front of the information centre on the Highway.
When completed the project will provide travellers and the local community with a better understanding of the heritage and pre-contact life of the Gomeroi people, traditional owners of the country through which the Kamilaroi Highway runs.
A considerable amount is known about the lives of the Gomeroi people including social structures; ceremonial art, hunting and gathering techniques as well as their interaction with other people. Items identified as significant in the Liverpool Plains Shire include the artefact collection at the Quirindi Historical Society and the Rural Heritage Village, scar tress like the ones near Taylors Lane, Rose Lee Park and the white ochre pits at Willow Tree.
A representative from the Liverpool Plains Shire Council said it is important, as many people as possible know about this indigenous rich history. The council also said they are grateful to the individuals and organizations who helped contribute towards advancing the project to this stage and are confident when it is officially opened that it will provide an important educational and cultural attraction that will have long-term benefits for the regions tourism.
Photograph by www.sallyaldenphotography.com