HISTORICAL: The Kooparoona Niara Cultural Trail at Deloraine was nominated for a Local Government Award. The trail finishes at a yarning circle. Picture: Neil Richardson

Meander Valley’s Kooparoona Niara Culture Trail was a finalist in the 2018 Tasmanian Local Government Awards for larger councils.

The trail was one of the top three projects, with mayor Craig Perkins saying it was one of the best community projects he has been involved in during his time on council.

“It became a good reminder that the Aboriginal culture and community was built around the Meander River and Deloraine,” he said.

The walking track is designed to showcase Tasmanian Aboriginal culture through mosaics and sculptures.

The unique mix of handcrafted pavers, rock art and native gardens was created with the community in mind.

“The trail, which we opened late last year, was a partnership between the Aboriginal community, the council and Colony 47, and other members of the Deloraine community,” Cr Perkins said.

“To me, it became such a really good type of community development project. It’s an example of how to bring different people in the community to construct something, something that will have a lasting legacy and good community engagement.”

The trail took about 18 months to finish once discussions started and approval sought. It was officially opened in December 2017.

“I suggested we should enter it in to the Local Government Awards because of the community engagement and its benefits,” Cr Perkins said.

“It was a way of recognising everyone’s role and showing that they had produced something of value and they should be proud of those efforts.

“Getting through to the final three just proves the efforts that everyone made.”

Cr Perkins said Brighton Council took home the top prize, with a project based around information technology.

“Didn’t quite win the gong, but it still sits in my mind one of the best community projects I’ve been involved in,” he said.

The trail now allows the community to host one of the biggest NAIDOC Week celebrations in the state.

Deloraine’s Train Park was more of a trail park on Saturday with the opening of the Kooparoona Niara Cultural Trail.

Commissioned through Colony 47, the walking track is designed to showcase Tasmanian Aboriginal culture through mosaics and sculptures.

Everyone from community leaders to council members was on hand for the unveiling of the site, which featured a smoke ceremony.

TRAIL OF SIGNIFICANCE: From left are Colony 47 chief executive Danny Sutton, Martin Hay, Aunty Dawn Blazely, Hank Morton, Greg Murray and Elizabeth Daly.


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