UKARIA honours our First Nations by fostering a shared sense of respect for this land, and we acknowledge and pay our respects to the Peramangk, traditional custodians of the land on which the Cultural Centre stands.

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Artwork - The Whales

Adjacent to the pond is another beautiful black granite sculpture: Silvio Apponyi’s Whales. Based in Balhannah in the Adelaide Hills, the German-Australian sculptor’s primary inspiration is Australian fauna: frogs, rabbits, kangaroos and eagles feature prominently among his oeuvre. When Ulrike saw Apponyi’s Whales for the first time, she felt an instant attraction to it.

‘I’m usually much more of an abstract person,’ she admits, ‘but it’s just absolutely beautiful. There is this story – I have no idea if it is genuine or not – about the Mount Barker Summit in ancient times. There was a flood, and a whale sacrificed itself so that people could survive by riding on its back. Someone told this story to me. Is it truly an authentic Aboriginal story? I wouldn’t know. But whales are the most amazing, mystical creatures. They’re musical too: looking at the sculpture, you can almost hear their song. It could almost be a whale in the landscape.’