Babarra is title of the artwork by Indigenous artist Marcus Ferguson commissioned by Transport for NSW and on public display at the Ballina BP Travel Centre, West Ballina.
This artwork tells the story of how language was communicated to the water birds of the Ballina area. Babarra, the creator spirit, instructed Jungar (Pelican) to gather all the birds and to meet at a sacred place. Jungar did as he was instructed, gathering all the birds including Swan, Brolga, Duck, Stalk and many other little birds. Babarra gave sound to the Bundjalung language passing onto the birds to carry over and through the people of the area. All waterbirds have a special meaning for the Bundjalung language as they are the carriers of the sprite message.
Within Ballina the larger creek is called Duck Creek, in Bundjalung language this is Yuralba. Yuralba meaning “many ducks sitting on the bank”. Significant of proximity to this site are the pathways and roads through the valley, these are the passages Aboriginal people once used for seeking Cedar. Ceremonial grounds and Bora rings used to exist here, many mobs lived on camps on either side of the creek and valley.
Detail of the artwork titled Babarra by Indigenous artist Marcus Ferguson.