• Adam Foster

Our venerable sydneyrockies.org.au website which has served us for many years has become increasingly difficult to maintain, and more out of touch with the latest web technologies. We need to manage every aspect of it using outdated technology. Content updates are limited in the types of media and formatting they can include, the site layout cannot be changed without technical know-how, and security is difficult to maintain with out-of-date software. And when there are any issues, they require specialised skills to resolve.

Over the last few months, work has been progressing with migrating all the site’s contents to a managed Wix platform and we are now ready to launch. This site is much more user friendly to update and more flexible in the changes we can make. The underlying platform is fully supported by Wix meaning we don’t need to dive into any technical issues. Additionally, it is cheaper than the previous solution. All this will enable content to be published more easily and frequently, with no special skills needed.

Please have a look around and enjoy the new site. For suggestions and feedback, please use our Contact Us page.

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  • Adam Foster

The Executive Committee for 2021 has been elected on 18 Nov with all nominations received appointed as per the following: President: Ian Ryan Vice President: Jeff Crass Treasurer: Kate Hefferan Business Manager: Andreas Rauch Librarian: Michael Law Club and Social Secretary: Karen Smith Access Officer: Tim Macartney-snape IT Officer: Adam Foster Membership Secretary: Jean Cane Newsletter Editor: Tony Larbalestier

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  • Adam Foster

On Saturday 24/10 a group of 7 climbers, and one of their children met with Evan Yanna Muru at Faulconbridge for a Dreamtime tour. The youngest showed us how much the education system has improved in terms of teaching Australians about Aboriginal history and culture as she out shone the rest of us in knowledge.

Evan, whose father was an Indigenous ranger in the Blueys and later Kosciusko NP, has run his own tours for years. It was a wet day, but this did not detract from the experience. We thought the warnings about how to walk in this terrain were a bit overdone, but later looking at trip advisor reviews, slipping over and the “ difficulty” of the walk features in a number of complaints so I can see why that was reinforced.

We were to concentrate the senses on what was around us, the sights, tastes, smell, feel and sounds of country. He explained how that this heightened state of sensory perception was a way of being for Aboriginal people. As we sat on a rock platform in the creek bed next to engravings of a swamp wallaby, Baime and Rainbow serpent motifs, a water dragon appeared as if on cue and added to the scene. Here, and later under various overhangs where we paused on the walk, we gained some early understanding of levels of knowledge; Dreamtime stories; the importance of totems, ritual; the stages, or moons of existence; spirit doctors; symbolism in art, and some appreciation for intangible cultural elements.

Evans personal philosophies on things like vaccinations and illness may not gel with my own, but it is always interesting to understand other people’s perspectives. None of us quizzed him on climbing access, as we were there to learn. However he did ask us what rock climbing means to us, and we tried to explain that climbing is more a way of life than an activity for many people, and that climbing in many aspects is a meditation on movement or a communion with rock that focuses the mind on being in the environment. With his own background in outdoor ed, we were encouraged to hear some of his opinions on the future of climbing, but they are his own and I will not presume to summarise them here.

Also this reference I subsequently looked at covers many of the themes Evan talked about https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Aboriginal-cultural-heritage/indigenous-kinship-with-the-natural-world-new-south-wales.pdf

Author: Vanessa Wills. Photos: Karen Allen, Hugh Ward, David Gray

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