Balaangala, based in The Gap, is a small, informal group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who get together to learn with and from one another. The group is built on the foundations of mutual sharing, respect, community building and friendship.
We acknowledge the Turrbal people as the custodians of the land upon which the group meets and where the Balaangala Garden is located.
Balaangala is about finding creative ways to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and knowledges together.
We aim to do this by –
- Connecting with the local community.
- Organizing a range of events and activities, both formal and informal.
- Connecting and caring for country.
- Developing and maintaining the Garden Place (at 98 Yoorala St The Gap), for community gathering, sharing, listening and learning.
- Exploring ways to develop relationships with remote Indigenous communities.
- Sharing skills, experiences and knowledge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
- Creating safe spaces for self reflection, discussion and collaboration.
About the Balaangala community garden
In 2008, after receiving permission from BCC and the SOWN environment group, some members of Balaangala started clearing the site at 98 Yoorala St, The Gap. It was two terraces covered with just about every weed you can imagine. Work has continued fortnightly since then. The first tree was planted by our youngest members, Frida, Rahnia and Ella on Sorry Day 2009.
The garden has been planted with native plants that have been and continue to be used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as food, and for tools, medicine and craft. The aim is to help group members, local residents and visitors learn about and appreciate (a small part of) Indigenous Culture and Knowledge.
Another part of the garden work is developing signs for each plant indicating where possible, the name used by the local traditional Owners – the Turrbal people or by neighbouring language groups, for example, Gubbi Gubbi or Wakka Wakka. By using the Indigenous words, we hope to raise awareness of the existence of the many different languages that make up this area, and this country.
An important part of the garden is the yarning space. This is where we quench our thirst after working together, where we plan activities, where we share ideas, ask questions, disagree and learn. We work in the garden on the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month, starting about 3 pm. Everyone is welcome to come once, every now and then, or every time. It’s good to check before you come.
Members of Balaangala have a commitment to sharing and learning with and from each other.
To this end, we hold regular events, activities, workshops and social gatherings.