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Footage by Sammy Hawker


 Curated walks through Ngunnawal country along manang Sullivan's

Follow Sullivan's: Learning Country a collaborative exploration, responding to and creatively documenting Sullivan’s Creek. An opportunity to brings together a multi-disciplinary collective to learn about, listen, investigate, discuss, photograph, write, measure, draw ,compose or otherwise document what they discover during these journeys.
Looking at this creek in its entirety, we are exposed to a big picture view of our treatment and relationship to our waterways and the greater story these waterways can tell about the impact of colonialism on Country.
Following Sullivan's a call to discover, celebrate and re-imagine the possibilities of a renewed relationship with water and Country.



Paul Wyrwoll, Aunty Karen Denny, Uncle Wally Bell, Jeannine Fromholtz, Rebecca Palethorpe, Faith Bentley, BYRD, Tom Grey, Kirsten Wehner, Brooke Clinton, Kate Harriden, Amanda Stuart, Kate Murphy, Jess Nguyen, Sarah Bachelard, Bruno Ferronato, Mark Butz, Cameron Muir , Nicola Lambert. Photo by Sammy Hawker participant and project photographer and film maker.

An evidence/data building project were 20 participants where drawn from a wide range of fields, including but not limited to art, music, ecology, environmental sciences, literature, community development, urban studies, public policy to participate in three partially curated walks along Sullivan’s creek. The foundation for each walk, respected Ngunnawal elders leading the way, sharing Ngunnawal knowledge and stories of Country their choice. Guided by the cultural knowledge and generosity of Uncle Wally Bell and Aunty Karen, the participants where invited to collaboratively (re)work their expertise to unearth the water scapes and water connections that existed before colonisation and (re)imagine what might have been...

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27 January 2021

The participants engage with Sullivan’s Creek in three places, in three forms.

1. Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve: ‘natural’ state at the headwaters.

2. Harris – Mitchell: a modified state including urban sites and industrial suburb with

conventional storm water system.

3. Lyneham Wetlands to ANU: predominately highly modified channel with some retrofit wetlands for water quality control; Sullivan's discharges to Molonglo River/Lake Burley Griffin at ANU.

The three walks were partially curated to incorporate each of the component - arts, culture and science - in participatory research.


Following Sullivan's in this way centres the stream, while highlighting greater truths the water scape can tell about the impact of the colonial-settler project on Country. These critical stories of place are explored through the lens of Indigenous heritage, environment, and culture.

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26 April 2022

The scoping phase of the project identified Indigenous scientific, cultural and historical knowledge as particularly lacking. Accordingly, these walks privilege Indigenous knowledge and learning practices as well as Indigenous perspectives and histories.



11 May 2022

The results of this data-gathering phase are being used to design broad-based community engagement projects and activities aimed to stimulate collective public memories of and connection to Sullivan’s creek. The results/evidence from this research phase will be shared with/to inspire/challenge those who are connected to Sullivan's creek during out upcoming Waterways:Country Workshop and Symposium Program in partnership with National Museum Australia during Design Canberra Festival Nov 2 - 20, 2022. It is anticipated that the momentum created during this program encourages community members to take responsibility and action for shaping public spaces. The next phase will continue to seek approval/support and be guided by Ngunnawal Elders. 


Project supported by Health Water Ways Program, ACT Government & Molongo Conservation Group. 

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