First Nations

Acknowledgment of Country

Aboriginal people have lived along the Cooks River for more than a thousand generations, watching the river slowly take form over many millennia*

The River Canoe Club acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal custodians of the air, sky, land and waters on which our Club house stands. We acknowledge the many Countries we paddle on throughout Australia and pay our respects to Aboriginal people past and present. 

*Paul Irish on behalf of MDCA Aboriginal History along the Cooks River

Celebrating NAIDOC week- revisiting our River Canoe Club House’s vibrant art work  

In 2020, Rivers Flow  was commissioned for the River Canoe Club. The collaborative design by artists Zachery Bennett-Brook and Kim Siew, embraces the surrounding area of the Cooks River, playing with the theme of water and the reflections of the natural environment.

Bennett-Brook is a contemporary Indigenous artist of Torres Strait Islander ancestry, born and raised in Dharawal Country (Wollongong), who has a love for the waterways, creating artworks which represent his surroundings and passions.

The distinctive artwork is visible from up and down and across the river.  It wraps around the building in a smooth flowing manner, mimicking the movement of water, incorporating Bennett-Brook’s Indigenous styled patterns which represents water in some sections, and meeting places – people coming together – in other sections.

Siew’s work links in, with silhouettes of many local animals, both mullet fish and water birds, as well as some plants which are found along the edges of the river. People in canoes and kayaks paddle throughout the artwork, a nod to the Clubhouse of NSW’s oldest Canoe Club – a place where canoes and kayaks used to be crafted by hand.

Blue tones are used throughout the work, representing both the water and sky, with different viewing points added, a view from above, and a view from a canoe, or from across the water.