RIVER CROSSINGS - Mirring
- 4 panels







In the Womb of the Goanna
GALA WAH BUDGERAM is a dreamtime story told to Lyle Roberts Senior …When the ancestors first came into being, the creator took the People into a special country called Widjabul. The elders went and spoke about how the land was and what they could do to make this place harmonious and to live in peace and tranquillity. The story on this panel reminds us of the importance of Nyabay - water - as the most precious gift that we as people have and how it must be used sparingly. The Wilsons River is the lifeblood of Widjabul Country, supporting ecosystems that have evolved over thousands of years. It is an important source of drinking water to the people of this Country.


River Crossings
This panel explores aspects of life around this section of the river. From time immemorial, people have sought the best places to make river crossings, and until the riverbanks were changed through dredging to facilitate large boats, Bundjalung people and their visitors crossed from the sandy banks just to our south. During the 1860s, people crossed here by government punt, but it took until 1963 for those wishing to cross this section of the river to have access to a bridge. However unlike Fawcetts Bridge upstream, the Ballina Street Bridge above you was built without the capacity to open. This marked the demise of the riverboat trade that had characterised Lismore’s history since white settlement; road and rail had taken over.



South Lismore: the Western Bank
From the time of its proclamation as a town in 1856, Lismore grew slowly. By the early 1870s it had a population of only 100 people, who lived on both sides of the river. Travellers moving between Lismore, the cattle stations and Casino made the river crossing by punt, close to this spot. The settlement that grew up on the opposite bank, even though geographically west, became known as South Lismore, the industrial hub, while North Lismore developed on the other side of Leycester Creek. Both places held very significant Bundjalung ceremonial grounds that were slowly erased with the expansion of the town.



To the West
As Bundjalung people and early Europeans journeyed westward from Lismore, they encountered a changing landscape. For those travelling through Tuncester, Leycester, Fernside and Bentley on the road to Kyogle, the dense green thickness of rainforest around Lismore became more open-spaced dry forest and woodland. During the 20th century dairy cows, beef cattle and horses grazed the cleared plains while bananas and vegetable crops covered the steep hillsides. The Aboriginal Reserve of Cubawee filled now empty paddocks. The school bus brought the high school students to Lismore. This panel explores some of the people and places to the west of us.