Lane Cove Celebrates the Gai-mariagal Festival with Animals of the Dreamings

The Gai-mariagal Festival (formerly the Guringai Festival) raises awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Northern Sydney region. The Festival involves numerous community groups and Councils including Lane Cove Council. One of the events during the festival is the Taronga Zoomobile visiting the Lane Cove Plaza.

This year, to celebrate NAIDOC Week, the Taronga Zoomobile will be in the Lane Cove Plaza on 6th July from 11.00 am to 12.00 am.  It is a free event.

One guest blogger Gemma Quartuccio told us about 2017 Animal and the Dreamings event.  Take it away Gemma…

Animals of the Dreamings

Each year Lane Cove Council works with Taronga Zoo to bring to the local community a presentation called Animals of the Dreamings, by Indigenous elder Col Hardy of the Kamilaroi tribe. Col, or Uncle Col, will talk about the different Indigenous nations that are all throughout Australia, which total over 200. He speaks about the importance of all people needing to look after both each other and the animals. Col takes the crowd on a journey through the Dreamings stating that “everything is put on this planet for a reason, even the bad things”. He speaks about how the Dreamings go back to when time was created and began with the story of the rainbow serpent, who is often linked to stories about land and water.

There is also a display of different boomerangs, one of which dates back 190 years, and other Indigenous tools as well as the blade of a Saw Fish who was missing a tooth! The story that has been passed down by Col’s ancestors is that the Saw Fish had had a tooth ache before it had died and that is why it is missing it’s tooth – because it had broken off.

Col also songs about different animals that feature in Dreaming stories and are significant to Indigenous culture. There are songs about termites and how they are vital to eat the wood and bark to help make didgeridoos, and Dreaming stories about the Rainbow Serpent and Tiddalick the Frog as well as interactive discussions about the animals that feature in them.

Last year Ryan brought from Taronga Zoo came with Yarra, a Diamond Python, and spoke about snake safety.

taronga park zoo

He also brought with him a Shingle Back Lizard named Kimba, a white lip tree frog named Zinky (because his lips make him look like he has zinc on them!) as well as an echidna. 


Thank you to Gemma our Guest Blogger – she highly recommends you see the Zoomobile event on 6th July in the plaza.  Last year, Gemma was accompanied by her own roving reporter Lex!!  See below.

gemma and lex


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