Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published July 3rd 2021
Best First Nations Gallery in South West Queensland
Bollon is a vibrant small town in the Shire of Balonne, south western Queensland and is situated halfway between Cunnamulla and St George. The name Bollon is thought to be named after a Kooma/Gwamu word "bolion" meaning stone axe.
The town is situated on the banks of Wallam Creek where large River Red Gums and a colony of Koalas have been occasionally sited. This is also a favourite spot for campers, motorhomes and the like, where the serenity of the river makes a relaxing and peaceful spot for holidaymakers.
Campers along Wallam Creek, Bollon (Author's Photo)
In the middle of town in the old pink historic post office building is Nullawokka First Nations Gallery, which houses authentic cultural art and unique gifts. Owners Nullabill Speedy, a descendant of the local Gwamu/Kooma people, and his partner Judith Russell sell a range of specifically created Bollon gifts, authentic First Nations art, painted Emu Eggs, Indigenous designed tea-towels, soaps, lotions, pens, postcards, paintings from the Gallery's featured artist Tommy Crow and much more.
Indigenous Souvenirs and Gifts (Author's Photo)
Tommy Crow is a proud Mardgany artist, born in Cunnamulla and well known for his "Sunset Dreaming" artworks. He is also a renowned yidaki (didgeridoo) player who has performed around the World, at Uluru and the Sydney Opera House.
Sunset Dreaming Artworks by Tommy Crow (Author's Photo)
Also on offer are Nullawokka First Nation Tours guided by Nullabill Speedy. The Bollon Cultural Walk is a two-hour stroll along the creek where you will learn about the life of the Gwamu/Kooma people, traditional scar trees, bush medicine, how to track animals and enjoy a gourmet bush tucker tasting. These tours cost $50 for an adult or $15 for children and can be booked as a group or as little as two people. Bookings can be made on the Nullawokka website or call into the gallery and book in person.
Signs along Wallam Creek (Author's Photo)
Nullabill grew up in outback Queensland spending many years in the bush with his grandfather where he learnt the traditional Aboriginal ways of tracking, hunting and bush survival. After having spent many years in the tourism industry, Bill and Judith have come back to country Bollon for a more relaxing lifestyle and to further educate those interested visitors that pass through.
While I was in Bollon, Judith suggested I visit Deb's Licensed Café down the road where meals can be purchased during the day and event meals at night are a special treat for travellers. Essentials of fruit, vegetables, milk, bread and other convenience items, as well as catering, can also be purchased here.
Shearing Machinery and Memorabilia @ Deb's Cafe (Author's Photo)
Deb's husband Laurie was a Champion Shearer and from his time and other shearing equipment can be viewed in the dining room at the side of the Café. Deb can be contact by calling 07 4625 6118.