The recently founded Mulwaree Aboriginal Community Inc. appointed its full executive at its first AGM in October.
Monica Bridge was elected as president, Dylan Louden as vice-president, Stephen Dillon as treasurer, Jodie Munday as secretary, Elise Thornthwaite as publicity officer, Jennie Gordon was elected as public officer, and John Louden and Veronica Ford as committee members. The group thanked returning officer Graeme Welsh.
The Mulwaree Aboriginal Community was set up to be an inclusive Aboriginal community accepting people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, Ms Gordon explained. The organisation's objects are to give residents choice of membership to Aboriginal organisations; advise government and non-government organisations about Aboriginal culture and information; lead and support Aboriginal projects; and provide support and referral for families.
Over the next couple of executive meetings, the Community will develop a draft plan in consultation with its members for what it would like to achieve next year.
This year, the Mulwaree Aboriginal Community has been closely involved with the Goulburn 2020 project, which aims to make known some of the Indigenous people who were here when Lachlan Macquarie arrived in 1820, and whom Western histories have overlooked.
"There are a large number of names of real people with real faces who were Aboriginal people from here, who are forgotten people," Ms Gordon said.
Mulwaree members want those people to be identified, and named along the river-walks. Some names are recorded in European explorers' diaries; others in the 'blanket lists'. From 1814, Macquarie issued blankets to Aboriginal people; the lists record names, ages, numbers of wives, children, tribe, and district. The State Library of NSW considers these lists "powerful primary sources" for family and community history research.
A display at the Rocky Hill War Memorial and Museum recognizes the local Aboriginal soldiers who enlisted in World War I. That, too, was suggested by the Mulwaree Aboriginal Community. This is an ongoing project, and will recognize those who fought in World War II, Vietnam, and other conflicts.
The Community also want to recognize a traditional women's ceremony circle in the grounds of the historic All Saints Church, in Emma Street. When Ms Gordon was growing up, a sign commemorated the site; that sign is long gone.
"That's something else that we'd like to have recognized, recorded, and documented in history," she said.
Also as part of the Goulburn 2020 project, Ms Gordon and Ms Lamb led a history walk and talk along the Mulwaree River, around the Lansdowne Bridge, on Saturday, October 31.
While Ms Lamb spoke about the colonisers and Macquarie's visit, Ms Gordon talked about landscape features that still remained and their significance: the hills, the rivers, and the traditional burial ground at Lansdowne Park Estate.
The rivers are particularly important to local Aboriginal people. The Community takes its name from the traditional name of this region - Mulwaree; in Gundungarra and Ngunnawal language, the word means "long water". The meeting of the Wollondilly and Mulwaree rivers at Goulburn, Ms Gordon explained, was one reason this area was a meeting place for Aboriginal groups. Traditional Custodians in the area invited other communities to join them for ceremony at significant times, such as bogong moth season.
The rivers are also symbolised in the Community's logo, designed by local Aboriginal artists Monica Bridge and Jodie Munday.
Here, the two platypuses represent the Mulwaree and Wollondilly Rivers. The rain symbolises the area is freshwater country. The Northern and Southern symbols of people gathered represents the Gundungarra and Ngunnawal people, the Traditional Custodians of the area.
The symbol in the centre of the logo represents the large population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who now call Goulburn Mulwaree (and region) their home - "An inclusive group representing many Aboriginal nations," Ms Gordon explained.
Goulburn has one of the highest Indigenous populations in the region. According to the 2016 Census, 1190 people 1190 people in Goulburn Mulwaree identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander - 4.3 per cent of the local population. (By comparison, Bowral's Indigenous population is only 1.0 per cent, Canberra's 1.8 per cent, and Yass's 3.9 per cent.)
Although the traditional custodians are Gundungarra and Ngunnawal people, Ms Gordon said, the population is now made up from many of the Aboriginal nations of Australia.
The email contact for the community group is firstname.lastname@example.org.