[Robyn Coffey]

If you come to Cowra you have to go to Billy Goat Hill. It’s the best view I believe of Cowra. Bellevue Hill was called Billy Goat Hill when I was a child. The reason it is called Billy Goat Hill is because it was home to roaming goats for many years. And there are rocks everywhere because there’s a lot of traditional areas where a lot of our ancestors lived. My name is Robyn Coffey and I’m a local Wiradjuri Elder from Cowra. In Wiradjuri, Cowra means rock.

[Isabel Coe]

We don’t see a rock just as being a rock. Obviously when our spirit passes on, we go into the Dreamtime. When spirits pass on they actually turn into the formations of rocks. And those rocks would symbolise people, or certain animals. There are a few rocks going right up to the top, where it actually looks like a man overseeing the Country. Just as you’re going up the stairwell, looks like it could be a eagle, it could be a goanna, where it’s like the eyes are watching who comes and who goes.

My name is Isabel Coe. I was born in Cowra. Come from Erambie Mission. I’m from the Wiradjuri Nation, from the Upper Galari, the Lachlan River. We are one of the original people of this Country. So Wiradjuri people being a very peaceful people, they would welcome those that have been buried on Wiradjuri Country, and that includes those Japanese prisoners of war.

[Robyn Coffey]

A story that I was told by my Aunties was that in some of the rocked areas there were birthing areas, and segregated spots so there would be men’s business and women’s business.

[Isabel Coe]

Billy Goat Hill is to Aboriginal people a very sacred site.

[Robyn Coffey]

Well, at Billy Goat Hill and a lot of the area around it, had scar trees. Unfortunately there are some that have been destroyed, which was very sad, because they are a very important part of Aboriginal culture and heritage. Scar trees were trees that Aboriginal people would cut out of the bark and use that for, for instance like canoes. There’s also coolamons. Now coolamon is a, something that was used to carry food. There’re also coolamons that they used to carry their babies in, like a vessel.

[Isabel Coe]

Wiradjuri people being very spiritual, and a lot of our rocks and our scar trees, they go hand in hand. It’s probably something you have to see for yourself.

Producer/Sound Design: Masako Fukui 

Music Credits: Tranquility by Kevin MacLeod ( CC by 3.0

Photo Credits: Photo 1: Rocks at Bellevue Hill / Billy Goat Hill; Photo by Mayu Kanamori

Photo 2: Bellevue Hill / Billy Goat Hill viewed from Cowra; Photo by Mayu Kanamori

Photo 3: Bellevue Hill / Billy Goat Hill lookout; Photo by Mayu Kanamori



The Cowra Voices Audio Archive Project 2023

Cowra Council is the copyright holder of all the audio works in the Cowra Voices Audio Archive. If you would like to reuse or copy any of the materials in this Archive, please contact Cowra Council. Australian copyright law is set out in the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth).

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