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Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route

WARNING: Readers should be aware that this website includes names and images of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal people.


Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi points to the places in his painting, 'Canning Stock Route Country', that represent the waterholes that became stock route wells.
Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi points to the places in his painting, 'Canning Stock Route Country', that represent the waterholes that became stock route wells. Photo: Tim Acker.

Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route told the story of the Canning Stock Route's impact on Aboriginal people, and the importance of the Country that surrounds it, through the works of senior and emerging artists and the stories of traditional custodians. The exhibition made its debut at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on 30 July 2010 and ran until 26 January 2011 before travelling to Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

This groundbreaking exhibition revealed the richness of desert life. It told a story of contact, conflict and survival, of exodus and return, seen through Aboriginal eyes, and interpreted through their voices, art and new media.

We wanna tell you fellas 'bout things been happening in the past that hasn't been recorded, what old people had in their head. No pencil and paper. The white man history has been told and it's today in the book. But our history is not there properly. We've got to tell 'em through our paintings.

Clifford Brooks, Wiluna, 2007.

Explore the Canning Stock Route story

Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route exhibition was a joint initiative between the National Museum of Australia and FORM. 

This exhibition was supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

The exhibition was also on show at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre in Western Australia from 2 to 27 November 2011, the Australian Museum, Sydney, New South Wales from 17 December 2011 to 29 April 2012, and at the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Queensland from 25 May to 14 July 2013.

Visit the Mira Canning Stock Route Project Archive