Environment SA News

Ngarrindjeri lead community on tour of the Kurangk (Coorong)

Members of the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLMM) - Community Advisory Panel joined staff from the Department for Environment and Water to take part in a Ngarrindjeri-led tour of the Kurangk (Coorong) this week.

Shirley Hartman explaining the importance of the Ngarrindjeri interpretive trail along the foreshore at Meningie.
Shirley Hartman explaining the importance of the Ngarrindjeri interpretive trail along the foreshore at Meningie.

The tour was about connecting people and culture to the natural beauty of the Kurangk and presents a wonderful opportunity to jointly celebrate Reconciliation Week as well as the upcoming World Environment Day on Saturday 5 June.

Project Officer for the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth, Kirsty Wedge said the tour embraced Ngarrindjeri culture and gave participants a chance to learn about Ngarrindjeri cultural history pre and post European settlement.

“Our team really enjoyed meeting members of the wider Ngarrindjeri community and viewing the symbolic interpretative trail along the Meningie foreshore,” Kirsty said.

“We got to visit the cultural museum at Camp Coorong and learn about traditional basket weaving, acknowledging the important work of the cultural rangers of the Coorong National Park; as well as hear many stories connecting Ngarrindjeri people to Ruwe (country).”

Yarluwar Ruwe Project Coordinator for the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation, Rick Hartman said participants on the tour got a chance to learn about the spiritual importance of the Kurangk and its Nartji's (totems) to the Ngarrindjeri people and how everything is connected - people, plants and animals.

“The tour highlighted a number of key sites to witness first-hand the beauty of the Kurangk, and acknowledge the effects of the Millennium Drought and the legacy that still exists as the Kurangk continues its journey of recovery,” Rick said.

“We also got a chance to look at the natural stone fish traps our people used to catch fish and acknowledged the role of modern fishways on the barrages which help to ensure successful fish migration and recruitment.”

Kirsty said the event also celebrated community collaboration in helping to restore the Kurangk including the connected Lake Alexandrina, Lake Albert and the Murray Mouth, to a more healthy state.

“This is achieved through advocacy for water for the environment and continued support for monitoring of native plants and animals so we can ensure the Kurangk remains an iconic Ramsar site for the local community and visitors to enjoy, now and into the future,” Kirsty said.