Outstretched Hands: Reconciling past and present within the Parramatta Riverside Walk

Mona Malamiri


This article argues that the art installation of the Parramatta Riverside Walk conveys a sense of the pre-colonial collectivist community through traditional modes of art, storytelling and interpretation. The art space raises issues of multiculturalism and reconciliation, reiterating these ideas within the public sphere of knowledge. Through exploring social, cultural, political and historical ideals manifested within the Parramatta region, and the wider Australian populace, this article demonstrates a continuity in combating issues facing the cultural integration and unity of indigenous and non—indigenous people in today’s world. Furthermore, by highlighting Aboriginal customs and values – namely spiritual and religious ideologies - the article denotes tradition to the rising popularity of ‘avant-garde’ mentalities and worldviews such as Neotribalism. It is the very essence of this relationship between Aboriginal traditional values and national heritage that, I argue, shapes social understanding and tolerance of indigenous culture.

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