Goanna ground, by Ballarat-based Aunty Diana Nikkelson (Gunditjmara), was inspired by the artist’s totem and is a tribute to the first artists of the region, the Wadawurrung people. It acknowledges Aboriginal survival and the dynamic regeneration of the Aboriginal art and culture in the region. The goanna was etched into the basalt paving at the back of the Gallery in 2006 as part of the cultural festival of the Commonwealth Games.

As you walk down Police Lane, etched footsteps morph from a human footprint to goanna prints. The goanna itself was originally an outdoor artwork, but half of it was brought into the Art Gallery of Ballarat when the former Federation Plaza was enclosed to form the Gallery’s McCain Annexe.

Content: City of Ballarat

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Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.

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© 2023 Ballarat In The Know. This initiative is funded by the City of Ballarat and Tourism Midwest Victoria.