Bega Valley Heritage Week (2-9 September 2017)
Events included guided tours of some of the first oyster farms in the area (and oyster tastings!), a visit to Aboriginal middens and fish traps on Pambula Lake, guided walking tours of Eden and Candelo with Pip Giovanelli, Aboriginal cultural tours of the Bundian Way, an information session for real estate agents, tours of Davidson Whaling Station, local museum exhibitions and guided tours of locally significant sites.
The week also included an open forum with a panel of heritage and tourism professionals discussing 'What is our local heritage, and how should it be best celebrate it?'. Panel members included Pastor Uncle Ossie Cruse MBE AM, Peter Lacey, Bruce Leaver, Lisa Newell and Iris White.
A Heritage Information Kiosk took place in Bega and Eden. The Kiosk offered an opportunity for owners and managers of heritage items to ask questions about their property, seek clarification around planning matters, and discuss opportunities for support and funding from Bega Valley Shire Council, Heritage Near Me and the State Heritage Grants team. Mary Ann Hamilton and Bronwyn Smith joined the Heritage Near Me team, representatives from the local council and the local heritage advisor, Trevor King.
To wrap up the week, the Heritage Near Me Roadshow opened Bega's Biggah, a meeting place garden celebrating local Aboriginal cultural heritage including Bunaarn Rings and plants of local significance. This garden is part of a wider cultural heritage project being led by the local Aboriginal community and South East Local Land Services, and is supported by Heritage Near Me through the Local Heritage Strategic Projects.
Local dance group, Gulaga, entertained the 200 strong crowd who attended the afternoon's activities. The dancers performed a smoking ceremony and local Elder Aunty Colleen Dixon gave an inspiring Welcome to Country.
The crowd sampled a variety of delicious meals which hero'd native foods and were prepared by Mark Olive, from the Black Olive. Heritage Near Me filmed a timelapse of part of the construction.