Cootamundra Community Information
Cootamundra is located in the South West Slopes region of New South Wales within the Riverina area. On the principal Sydney-Melbourne rail line, the town is also the rail and road junction for routes serving the state’s central region, which produces sheep, wheat, and some gold. Cootamundra is known as the home of a species of Gudhamangdhuray Garal, the Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana), which is traditionally used as medicine, food and for traditional practices.
Cootamundra has a rich and sad history. The area has been the home to the Gudhamangdhuray Wiradujri for many generations. Cootamundra was settled in 1830 as a livestock station, made a municipality in 1884 and a shire in 1975. Until 1952 the town was called Cootamundry which is derived from the Wiradjuri word Gudhamangdhuray which means many long-necked turtles.
The Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls home, also known as Bimbadeen and the Girls home, operated within the community until 1968. The home provided training to girls forcibly removed from their families under the Aborigines Protection Act 1909. Girls attended school within the community and were trained as domestic servants. These girls of the Stolen Generations were forcibly removed from Country and culture. The home was the subject of a National Enquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from the Families in 1997 and has associations with the National Apology in 2008. The home is one of the only standing physical reminders of the forcible removal of children from Country and culture, however the intergenerational trauma and long-term impacts on health and healing are ongoing.
Cootamundra now has a diverse and vibrant Aboriginal community with many members choosing to resettle there. Local community groups including Yarra Hub and Cootamundra Aboriginal Working Party actively pursue opportunities for strengthening cultural awareness and understanding within the local community. Long standing reciprocal relationships are established with local land holders as current custodians. Together they learn and teach each other about Country, culture and connection.
I am very passionate on making agencies accountable for funding and improving service delivery to Aboriginal people in my community.
I love riding horses. I am a mother of three girls. I have lived in every state of Australia.
Harden Murrumburrah area
To further represent community and share their voice. I am passionate about change and feel that authentic and sustainable change can only be achieved through education and collaborative action.
I appreciate culture, arts and alternate perspectives.