THE WIRADJURI PEOPLE

The Wiradjuri people are the first inhabitants of the Bathurst district and have been living here for at least 40,000 years. The Wiradjuri people are the people of the mountains, rivers and plains whose heritage is rich and ancient.

Wiradjuri country extends from the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, near Lithgow, and is bounded by the three rivers: Macquarie (Wambool), Lachlan (Kalari), Murrumbidgee (retained its original name). It was a land described by early European explorers as fertile, abundant in fish and game. Wiradjuri people had their own language and a rich culture of stories and songs.

Carved trees used to mark graves are an important feature of old Wiradjuri culture. An example of one of these trees can be seen in the Bathurst Museum. Many of these trees have now been destroyed by land clearing and bushfires.

Another important feature of the old Wiradjuri was their handsome cloaks made from the fur of many possums stitched together. When Governor Macquarie visited Bathurst in 1815 he was presented with such a cloak by a Wiradjuri man.