A mark of respect for Georgina Williams
28 April 2021

A mark of respect for Georgina Williams

A ceremony at Port Noarlunga has paid tribute to the work of Senior Kaurna Meyunna Tribal Woman, Georgina Williams, at the reawakening of the sacred Dreaming story of Tjilbruke.

In April, at a Port Noarlunga reserve overlooking the sea, people gathered for a ceremony steeped in truth and respect.

A plaque was renewed, recognising the sacred, cultural and spiritual importance of the Tjilbruke Dreaming Track.

The Tjilbruke Dreaming Track is a significant ancestral journey along Adelaide’s coast and the Reserve on the corner of the Esplanade and Anderson Avenue is home to one of 10 cultural markers. The markers recognise the tears of Tjilbruke that formed the natural springs — an integral part of the Dreaming story.

The important ceremony also acknowledged 50 years of work and activism that Senior Kaurna Meyunna Woman Georgina Williams has dedicated to her people, her culture and the broader Onkaparinga community.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson attended the ceremony and spoke of the importance of upholding the cultural values of the Traditional Owners of the City of Onkaparinga region.

“I’m proud to stand here today on behalf of our city to acknowledge the 50 years of work by Senior Tribal Woman Georgina Williams – Woman of Water because it’s the right thing to do,” Mayor Thompson said.

“A life’s work dedicated to your family, your people, your culture and to the reawakening of this sacred Dreaming story, so your people could come home to country.

“Georgina’s resolve has been second to none. She has maintained her path with unwavering strength and wisdom. She has always stayed true to her convictions with future generations in mind.

“The Tjilbruke Dreaming Track was officially opened on 18 December 1986, supported by the Minister for Environment and Planning, Susan Lenehan.

“We’re listening in a deeper way, which has opened a new way of understanding this story for myself and my fellow councillors.

“I stand here today in truth and respect. I stand here today as Mayor of the City of Onkaparinga. I stand here today to admit that we haven’t always gotten it right.

“It’s a new beginning, and I acknowledge and commit to continue to respectfully walk together with you, your family and First Nations people in the City of Onkaparinga.”

Council recently removed the reserve’s outdoor fitness equipment to reinstall at a more appropriate location to respect the cultural significance of the 7000-year-old Tjilbruke Dreaming story and create an environment more aligned with the natural world.

This has allowed a less obstructed view of the Onkaparinga River/ Nangkiparri estuary. The reserve will also become a space for cultural ceremonial practise and educational visits for Onkaparinga’s residents, ­­schools and visitors.


From left to right standing: Asta Wanganeen, Alema Pilot, Karl Telfer, Georgina Williams, Nellie Egan, Wendy Casey, Irene Watson, Karno Martin and Leanne Benton. Left to right kneeling front: Tikana Telfer, Isabella Harrison, Grace Lamont, Tracey Dixon, Jakirah Telfer and Susan Roberts; Georgina Williams speaks at a ceremony to unveil the new plaque.

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