Ngaut Ngaut Interpretive Project: Consultation at Nildottie

by Alex van Wessem

For the second phase of my involvement as a practicum and directed studies student on the Ngaut Ngaut Interpretive Project I attended a consultation meeting with members of the Mannum Aboriginal Community Association Inc. (MACAI) together with the principal researcher and project coordinator, Dr Amy Roberts, and tourism advisor, Lyn Leader-Elliott.

We spent a few hours discussing the content of the on-site signs as well as talking about ideas for the tourism brochure. The example brochures I had researched were helpful in that we could identify their good and bad characteristics. This allowed us to incorporate some of their positive aspects into the Ngaut Ngaut tourism brochure later on. While we were there I took some photos of MACAI member, Sam Stewart, holding various plants and other organic materials which were later incorporated into the interpretive materials.

After lunch we all visited the Ngaut Ngaut site. It had been raining on and off for most of the day and as we got to the rock shelter it started to drizzle. The sun was still out though and the bright sunlight streaming through the rain made for a beautiful scene.

I had never been to the site before and I was really impressed by the engravings, the tourist infrastructure and the overall aesthetics of the site. I took over 150 photos while I was there. While most of them were images of the engraved motifs, some of the photographs were just my attempt to capture the beauty of the place.

In order to help me keep track of the images I was taking other MACAI members, Isobelle Campbell (MACAI chairperson) and Ivy Campbell, drew images of specific motifs and provided a description for each one. This came in handy later on when I completed the photographic record form. I am very glad I got a chance to visit the site. It has made the creation and understanding of interpretive materials much easier for me as I now know what its like to experience Ngaut Ngaut as a first-time visitor.

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