24. 12. 2015
Prior to this project I’d been to Raukkan once, maybe twice. Over my years living in Goolwa I have met a number of Ngarrindjeri people and have worked with a few of them on projects in Goolwa, Victor Harbor, and Murray Bridge. Raukkan was occasionally mentioned. When this project came up, I saw it as an opportunity to get to know Raukkan a little better.
Over the last two months I have travelled around Lake Alexandrina, 150km to Raukkan, a number of times. I’ve tried a few different routes but my favourite is going through Wellington as I get to cross the River on the ferry. There’s another ferry at Narrung – so, two ferry rides every time I go to Raukkan! The road ends at Raukkan; there’s no passing through on the way to somewhere else.
An old dairy shed on the road into Raukkan boasts the successes of the local football team and, at the town entrance, the words ‘Nguldi Arndu’ welcome you as you drive over a cattle grid.
Raukkan is a well-kept, attractive village with a big lawn and children’s playground in the middle. Suburban style houses surround the big lawn, with the occasional older house hinting at Raukkan’s history. As you reach the centre of town, up the hill on the left, are a row of old stone buildings, one of them is the church depicted on the $50 note.
In the middle of the day the streets are usually quiet, with only an occasional pedestrian. After school, kids play on the big lawn or use the basketball court. Much like anywhere else.
Exploring the outskirts and surrounding areas of Raukkan; the cemetery, the cliffs, the wetlands, Gum Park, brings home the uniqueness and history of this place. Then it’s not like anywhere else.