What Makes a Vibrant Community?

Tales to Connect with Your Community - Amanda Fisher, blogger

May, 2018



Embracing the environment, community and culture through the creation of a contemporary ‘songline’ —the ‘Mountain to Mouth; Geelong’s 80 km extreme arts walk’ is inspired by pathways that for thousands of years have been used to navigate across country through song, story, dance, ritual and visual art (Mountain to Mouth).

Intrepid walkers took to the track from the You Yangs to Barwon Heads foreshore – stopping along the 12 songline stations between burst of gale-force-winds, rain and sunshine.

Like nature, not all elements could be neatly packaged into the well-planned two-day event, with high tide blocking access to the beach between Point Lonsdale and Ocean Grove. Although disappointing not be able to walk the full distance, it gave welcome relief for tired feet in the shuttles buses.

One Step at a Time

For a first timer, just one section of 13.9 kms was enough to get a taste for Mountain to Mouth from Drysdale Station to Swan Bay.  The Swan Bay Marine and Freshwater Discover Centre was interwoven into the fabric of the event – starring as a songline station, opening it’s doors to the public with free entry for participants. Volunteer educators were on hand with an intricate knowledge of local fish and other water-life on display — reinforcing the festival message of the community as environment protectors. Make sure you take another look at the Swan Bay Marine and Freshwater Discover Centre  during the school holidays with educational and fun activities for kids.

 The Care Taker

Artist Dan Goronszy created the interactive installation ‘The Care Taker’ at the Swan Bay songline exploring the role of intimacy and care between strangers in public places. Participants had the opportunity to sit on comfortable cushions in a private area and quietly contemplate their cares writing down a ‘care’ for public viewing  to be displayed inside the care caravan and then later burnt with the ceremonial canoe.


Canoe sculptors Leslie Pearson (USA) and Kerrie Bedson.


Artists Leslie Pearson (USA) and Kerrie Bedson sculptured the canoe using pig’s gut, hessian and cane to create the ceremonial canoe with the durability and strength to survive two days of exposure to varied autumnal weather  and the final act of disappearing into flames as it is sent off into the sea. The artists were on hand at the songlines to make last minute repairs and alterations before being entrusted into each new set of hands along the journey.

Wadawarrung Traditional Owners

Mountain to Mouth acknowledges Wadawarrung Traditional Owners of this land and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of the Greater Geelong Community today (Mountain to Mouth).