The Valley of Dispossesion
The Gundungorra Nation in the Burragorang Valley was dispossessed of their land by explorers, pastoralists, the Church, early settlers, miners and the Aboriginal Protection Board. Yet this community achieved acceptance which was disrupted when their Valley was flooded to create Warragamba Dam.
The Wollondilly Heritage Center & Museum is situated at The Oaks which is close to Burragorang Lookout which overlooks the waters which cover the Valley of Burragorang. The Museum exhibitions tell many stories of local events but the flooding of this Valley is predominant because they have strong ties to the local people whose lives were severely disrupted when the valley was flooded. In photos, storyboards, films and audio, This story of dispossession traces how these people were affected. We show how Gundungorra families and later settlers alike felt a bond to this land and also to each other. They shared the produce of the rivers and mountains and grew crops on the rich river flats. Their kids shared the schools and the dances and celebrations, weddings and funerals. The descendants of the old Gundungorra families continued to apply for their traditional lands and some were successful. As the years went by the land was always the means of keeping each other close.