The trail and associated works are being built and managed under AlburyCity's Aboriginal Employment and Training Program. The Wagirra Trail crew is working on construction and land conservation tasks and have completed significant projects including the Kremur Street Boat Ramp and Oddies Creek adventure playground.
Unlike many short-term employment initiatives, the Wagirra Trail traineeships are three years in duration and aim to develop future leaders and mentors in the Aboriginal community.
Skills in civil construction and land management leading to real jobs and financial security will flow on into the community, as will the sense of pride, ownership and identity. The presence of an Aboriginal workforce within AlburyCity Council has far reaching benefits for the whole community and is a tangible step towards Reconciliation.
The project is also providing the local Aboriginal community with an opportunity to express and educate users on local Aboriginal history as they take in the views.
Grant funding has been received through the Regional Tourism Development Fund (TIRF). The grant funded a study to identify the stories of the Wiradjuri people in the region and their relationship to the Murray River. The findings will guide the development of commissioned public art installations along the Wagirra Trail, and the interpretive elements that improve the quality of the visitor experiences along the trail.
As a unique tourism attraction for the Wiradjuri people, the interpretative themed trail will appeal to visitors of the Albury/Wodonga area who are seeking to expand their cultural knowledge and to experience the local Wiradjuri culture.
The use of art and other creative elements will be an important feature to the Wagirra Trail, setting it apart from other walking trails that focus on more traditional communication methods, such as plaques, thus providing users with a more holistic and rewarding experience.
As part of the project, these DVDs have been produced to capture milestones and share with the community the teams achievements.
BroSpeak is a six week program for Aboriginal boys attending local secondary school. It is designed to help the boys to be strong in their Aboriginal identity and smart in their approach to achieving their life goals.
As part of the program BroSpeak participants visited Council's all-Aboriginal work crew which makes up the Wagirra Project. The team shared their incredible success stories after they were recruited to Council in 2008.
Since then the team has been responsible for constructing the Oddies Creek Playground, the Kremur Street Boat Ramp and are currently working on the 70km of Wagirra cycle/pedestrian trail that will eventually connect Wonga Wetlands with Hume Weir and have become role models in the Aboriginal community.
The Wagirra Trail project provides the platform for AlburyCity to work in partnership with the local Aboriginal community to create a genuine long-term employment program which in turn will deliver to the city a valuable asset with significant recreation, tourism and cottage industry spinoffs.
To date, most of the project has been funded by AlburyCity, however to continue the project beyong initial capital investment, external investment is needed to match AlburyCity's funding commitment.
The Council is seeking funding from government agencies or private investors to complete the project which is valued at $9.2M.