New sign at Reflection Seat Garden at South Wall honours Indigenous women’s history

Artist Jingalu Melissa Craig and GO Girls co-ordinator Yvonne Richards at the unveiling of Bonnyoon Mirra. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

 

THE Reflection Seat Garden at the South Wall now has a spiritual partner after the unveiling of a sign that includes a wonderful piece of Indigenous art.

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The sign with the artwork on it is called ‘Bonnyoon Mirra’ which means sacred place of the Bagawa women.

The seat, garden and sign are thanks to the work of GO Girls, a non-profit girlfriend group for mature-aged women, providing friendship, fun times, support and social activities for its membership of about 95 women.

Each year the group supports a charity or project.

In 2017 the Reflection Seat Garden that looks over the Jetty and further north was the project of choice according to GO Girls founder and co-ordinator Yvonne Richards.

“Since then we have been negotiating with the Bagawa people, the council and the Indigenous community to have signage installed in our Reflection Seat garden, so as to provide details on how that particular land on South Coffs Island is historis to the Bagawa women and recognised as being of high significance as a healing place, a keeping place and a place where important journeys would begin,” Yvonne said.

The artwork was created by Jingalu Melissa Craig and she said having her wonderful piece at the South Wall site is special for her and her family.

“I grew up here, I’m born and bred and this is my stomping ground when I was a kid so it means the world,” she said.

“And Aunty Marie (Tarplee) who is passed now, she researched so much of the history and to try and get it to this point, to get it recognised.

“So it’s a really lovely thing to know that we’re continuing her mission.

“Aunty Marie is sort of the catalyst for this and just to be recognised from the community for our family that’s here, it’s beyond words.”

The artwork she created has true meaning as well.

“It’s female and the spirits at the bottom on the ground, that’s our ancestors and it says this place is a female sacred place,” she explained.

 

By Brad GREENSHIELDS

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