Warali Wali Trail
The Warali Wali Trail is a 4.7 km (one way) or a 9.4 km (return) long track that runs along the Prospect Creek Corridor between Cumberland City Council and Fairfield City Council areas. The trail includes a series of four individual public artworks created by Aboriginal artists. The public artworks express the Dreaming Stories of Prospect Creek and tell of the native flora and fauna along the local waterway.
‘Warali Wali’ is the Darug word for possum, a Darug people’s totem.
Below are the Prospect Creek Dreaming Stories that inspired artists to create these unique public artworks. Also below are details of where you can find the individual public artworks along the Warali Wali Trail.
Warali Wali Project Acknowledgement
All participants in this project respectfully acknowledge the lands on which this project was undertaken the lands of the Darug.
The Warali Wali project was a collaborative venture funded by the previous Holroyd City Council, Fairfield City Council, PlanningNSW and the Georges River Foreshore Improvement Program. Indigenous intellectual property was provided by Earth Spirit Indigenous Services. Intellectual property is copyright 2001, Bodkin Andrews clan of the D`harawal Peoples.
Rivers and creeks are used for collecting water and are where animals gather. They act as natural landmarks for the stories and events which are articulated through Aboriginal oral history. Prospect Creek is a traditional travel route connecting the Darug and the D’harawal peoples. Prospect Creek is the border between the previous Holroyd City Council and Fairfield City Council. These Councils in collaboration with the local Indigenous people initiated the project.
The four Prospect Creek Dreaming stories informed the public artworks located along the Prospect Creek cycleway. The Aboriginal stories provided were the basis for the artists’ interpretive works.
Please Note - Darug is an oral language and Darug words captured in writing by linguists may vary in spelling.
Where is the Warali Wali Trail?
There are many ways to access the Warali Wali Trail including via public transport, the Prospect Creek Cycleway for bike riding or by parking your car and walking the trail.
Please see the Warali Wali Trail Google Map to refer to the location of the artworks and for local access roads to trail entry points.
A possum marker on the trail locates the Yandel’ora, Dahl’wah and Boo’kerrikin artworks.
The Mananga artwork is located near the corner of Long Street and Britton Street roundabout on the Cumberland City Council Prospect Creek Cycleway side.
All artworks are accessible by wheelchair.
Cumberland City Council access to Warali Wali Trail:
Begins along the Prospect Creek Cycleway off Gibbs Road, Smithfield. The pathway follows Long Street, intersecting with Britton Street roundabout and continuing along to Cumberland Highway. Access and parking can be found on Long Street or on the opposite side of Prospect Creek at Rosford Street Reserve on Rosford and Rhondda Streets.
Fairfield City Council access to Warali Wali Trail:
Begins on the opposite side of Prospect Creek by entering a small pathway directly after crossing Prospect Creek. This pathway runs along the creek to the Granville Street pathway and continues on to Cawarra Park, in Fairfield. Access points and parking can be found in many small side streets along this section of the trail.
Transit Systems Western Sydney Bus routes to access Warali Wali Trail in Cumberland City Council area:
800 – Blacktown to Fairfield via Wetherill Park. Stop Gipps Road opposite Gipps Road Sports Complex
806 – Liverpool to Parramatta via Abbotsbury. Stop Hassall Street opposite Rosford Street Reserve
821 – Guildford to Smithfield Industrial Area. Stop Long Street at Sammut Street
T80 – Liverpool to Parramatta via T-way. Stop Gipps T-Way
Transit Systems Western Sydney Bus routes to access Warali Wali Trail in Fairfield City Council area:
812 – Blacktown to Fairfield. Stop 476 The Horsley Drive
813 – Bonnyrigg to Fairfield. Stop The Horsley Drive opposite Myddleton Avenue
814 – Fairfield to Smithfield (Loop Service). Stop The Horsley Drive opposite Myddleton Avenue or 467 The Horsley Drive
802 – Liverpool to Parramatta via Green Valley. Stop Polding Street North opposite Ace Avenue
Foreword – ‘Dreaming Stories of Prospect Creek’
Stories My Mother Told Me – Law Stories of the D’harawal for Children by authors Frances Bodkin and Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews Earth Spirit Indigenous Services
Throughout the past two hundred years, society has come to regard the Koori Dreaming stories as something akin to the fairy stories told to children.
For thousands upon thousands of years, the stories in this book were used to impart to the youngest members of the clans, the laws that governed the cultural behaviour of clan members. The successive attempts to destroy the Koori culture and assimilate the People into the Euro-centric population were unsuccessful and the Dreaming Stories were able to continue in their disguise as charming legends where animals became the heroes and the heroines.
Historians and anthropologists have studied the Koori culture since they first arrived on this continent, and have come to the conclusion that the D’harawal culture is dead. Of course this has been done without reference to the descendants of that culture and without even asking the proper questions. D’harawal culture is not dead; it is a strong, living, vital culture of the Sydney and South Coast regions that went underground for a while in order to survive. Now that the right questions have been asked, we have the key to unlock a vast wealth of knowledge of the country in which we live.
It is difficult to explain to a society based on commerce, fuelled by the profit motive, that D'harawal culture is not based on the ownership of tangible things like land, dwellings and possessions. It has a very strong sense of ownership of information. Information, particularly in story form, was not traded, but could be given and given freely, yet its ownership was respected.
The stories were not told or passed on by those to whom they had been given, but the knowledge in them was used by the receiver whenever they walked in the Land of the D'harawals, this Land.
It is hoped that our society is now mature enough to be able to accept the Koori Dreaming stories as they were, as they are, and as they were always destined to be; tools to teach the Children of the People about living with Earth, the Mother, in peace and harmony.
Each story contains several layers of knowledge, the first of which is the secrets. These can only be passed on or discussed with persons of the same level of knowledge or higher than the storyteller. The secrets are never told within a legend, but are remembered separately from the legend itself. These are very important components of any legend, and it is the knowledge of the secrets which determines the level of the person's worthiness to ownership of the story.
The next layer of knowledge within the stories is the laws to be obeyed. The laws of the stories were told and often repeated after the story was told. The laws were then discussed and their application in life demonstrated in a variety of ways.
The third layer of knowledge contained in each story is the lessons, which are learned from the story. The lessons were taught to all members of the group as well as visitors. These lessons provided people with the means to live in harmony with each other, the land and its resources.
In this series of D’harawal Law Legends, there are many lessons to be learned. The D’harawals believed that children learned better and more quickly when they were encouraged to work through a problem, rather than be told the answer. By sharing the stories of our ancestors with you, we hope that not only will you recognise and learn the lessons and laws of the Peoples of this Land, but you will also come to understand and respect the culture of the People, our feelings and relationship with the Land.
The stories do not in themselves act as an instruction manual - rather they point the way and encourage people to think, to learn and to live. It is hoped that by sharing our stories, you too may be able to think, to learn and to live in this Land.
With understanding and respect for each other, we can learn to more easily share this Land and live together in peace and harmony.
Prospect Creek Dreaming Stories and Warali Wali Public Artworks
Discover the Public artworks located in the Cumberland City Council areas.
Discover the Public artworks located in the Fairfield City Council areas.