Black Mountain and Me
Wally Bell is a Ngunawal Elder. He was born in 1956 at Crown Street Women’s Hospital in Sydney and grew up at Jeriwa near Yass. Wally’s parents, Don and Ruth Bell, were leaders in the Aboriginal community in Yass. They were actively involved in bringing Aboriginal cultural heritage to the attention of the wider community. As consultation with Aboriginal elders became a requirement for development, Don began to work on archaeological surveys of sites, initially without pay and Wally joined him. Wally was initially interested in a career in the Public Service but he found himself more at home doing cultural heritage work. When it became a requirement to have an official identity and insurances when working on site, the family created the Buru Ngunawal Corporation. Wally has worked on numerous archaeological surveys. In his current work on the Barton Highway he has been able to save several sites with particular meaning to his people. He is also an advisor to ACT catchment groups and advisor to government on issues...He started providing cultural walks on Black Mountain after Friends of Black Mountain was formed in 2012 and enjoys joining forces with scientists as a way of telling the story of Black Mountain from a variety of perspectives.
Black Mountain and Me
Rosemary was born in Oxfordshire, England in 1942 during the Second World War. Her parents’ home was in London, but with the bombing of London her pregnant mother had been evacuated to the country. After the war, Rosemary’s father, who hadn’t been allowed to ‘join up’ as his work as an industrial chemist specialising in paints was deemed essential work, decided on a rural life. Rosemary grew up on a farm in Kent. It was living and contributing to the dairy farm’s activities, being surrounded by animals, plants and her parents’ garden that meant love for nature was a process of osmosis. When she finished school she trained as a Physical Education teacher. She started work as a teacher in 1963, the same year that she married and went to Hong Kong where her husband was in the Merchant Navy. They moved back to England in 1965 and then to Australia in 1970 where her husband trained as an air traffic controller and then worked as a Flight Service Officer. After several moves, they finally took up residence in Canberra in 1978. They bought a house in the then seven-year-old suburb of Flynn where Rosemary still lives.
In the 1980s, when her children were more independent, Rosemary refreshed her teacher training and became a Teacher Librarian at the Scullin Primary School. At the same time, she also furthered her interest in the native plants in her neighbourhood by joining local organisations and participating in walks and field trips. In the 1990s, her volunteer work as a member of the propagation group at the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) introduced her to Black Mountain.
Rosemary became directly involved in Black Mountain activities from the mid-1990s. She was part of a group of people from various organisations, several of which she was a member, who developed a series of annual leaflets for self-guided walks in spring. They were based on Barbara Daley’s earlier series ‘In flower this week’ for ANBG. They started as roneo-copied sheets but with the help of sponsorship from Telstra, which Rosemary was instrumental in securing, became designed, illustrated and printed brochures.
Acknowledgement of Country
Molonglo Conservation Group acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land our studio stands on, the Ngunnawal people and extends this respect to all First Nations peoples, including Elders past, present and emerging.
This site is managed in partnership with Molonglo Conservation Group
Molonglo Conservation Group acknowledges the funding assistance provided through the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme Regional Investment Strategy, various ACT Government environment and heritage programs, and various NSW Government programs.
© Molonglo Conservation Group 2022