Gariwerd - a moment at Silverband Falls

Grampians National Park / Victoria Australia

- Catherine Schieve

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I love spending time in Gariwerd, also known as Grampians National Park. A vast rugged land, Gariwerd is home and sacred territory to the traditional owners, the Djab Wurrung and the Jardwadjali people. I came here first as a member of AURA, the Australian Rock Art Research Association, and was at one time privileged, with a guide, to see up close a few of the mind-blowing sacred sites within the huge landscape of the Grampians. A few years later the cycles of nature brought bushfires that severely scalded the land, hiding some sites and revealing new ones. Some of the sites of painted rock art were then closed off using steel cages for protection. I had been very lucky indeed to see the magical paintings up close without barriers. Now, I return to hike, photograph, and enjoy the wilderness views. I always visit Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre and learn a few more fragments of information about the land and people. This time I decided to shoot a few one-minute videos from the base of Silverband Falls, a fairly accessible and beautiful watery spot full of movement and light. Here are those videos below, and some still images. I recommend hitting “play” on all three videos at once, to get a feeling for the place. After enjoying the Falls, I went to Brambuk and asked what I could learn about Silverband Falls. The Traditional Owner there, a Djab Wurrung man, suggested that “we no longer know the name of that place, the name was lost since the invasion.” So there you have it, the dual experience of beauty and also of the magnitude of the loss of language. Silverband is relatively easy to get to. Most of the important sacred sites are hidden well within the large, complex space of the Gariwerd region. Gariwerd is home to the majority of Rock Art found in Victoria. It’s an extraordinary, magnificent place. I was told that when bushfires pass through, new sacred sites are always revealed by the fire. Enjoy these small yet powerful moments.
- photos and video by Catherine Schieve / November 2018

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Click into images below to enlarge and view the slideshow. All photos by Catherine Schieve.

With thanks to Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre - 100% Aboriginal owned and is the longest running Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Australia