Paddle with Wadandi traditional landowners

Meg Barling, 11, and siblings Tilly, 9 and Alfie Donegan, 12. Photo courtesy of Therese Colman Augusta-Margaret River Times

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Surfrider Foundation Margaret River hosted a cultural paddle up the Margaret River with Wadandi traditional landowners on Saturday.

More than 80 participants across four sessions took the journey from the river mouth to a sacred area, where traditional custodians Wayne and Zac Webb told Dreamtime stories about the region. Participants learnt about the significance of local caves, the creation of the Margaret River, and the meaning behind the names of beaches and landmarks of the area.

Zac Webb said he was happy to see so many community members and children engaged. “This land is for all of us,” he said. “The children, the women and the men. You are all custodians of this land and it’s up to us to pass on the significance and culture of our land for our next generation of leaders.”

Shire president Pam Townsend said she was grateful for the invitation. “Their stories hit me in the heart and I felt poorer for the fact I didn’t always feel that connection to country,” she said. “I will now vow to always connect with country at every opportunity.”

Surfrider Foundation’s Tracey Muir thanked the Webbs for their time and the Josh Palmateer Surf School for the use of canoes, kayaks and safety equipment.


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