Keeping history alive in the Flinders
At the junction of the famous Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks, some 680 kilometres north of Adelaide in the beautiful Flinders area, lies the little town of Marree.
With around 150 residents, the Marree Progress Association and the Outback Communities Authority (OCA) officially represent the interests of the community.
When they approached ICV for support with an initiative to keep the community’s history alive, we were delighted to get involved. ICV volunteer Alex was invited to help set up the newly opened Marree Railway Museum.
The museum showcases the depth of history surrounding Marree and its connection to the Ghan railway, which sadly stopped passing through the area in the late 1980s.
When speaking to community members, it’s clear that keeping the history of Marree alive is so important. Especially the connections to the railway which brought jobs for everyone in the community, and meant that for a long time Indigenous and Afghan community members had homes, job security and hope.
Fast forward to 2016, and, despite the demise of the railway, this multicultural community is still thriving. Making the most of the tourist trade to and from Lake Eyre, this resourceful community is preserving local history for generations to come.
Locals Christine (below) and Geoffrey proudly show visitors around the Railway Museum. And the community is excited to embark on the next step of its journey, developing a website to promote the museum and other local attractions.
Maree is a town of hidden treasures, including the Arabunna Centre, another museum showcasing Aboriginal artefacts and the wonderful photography of Reg Dodd who also organises local cultural tours.