Overwhelming response!

Overwhelming response!

We have had an overwhelming response to the call for applicants for our Connecting Song project.  Amazing!  The 3 mentors: Trem, Tim Neal and Adalita are now sorting through and listening to them all, trying to make decisions about who will be the ones they will mentor.  They are not finding this an easy job - so many great applications....  Stay tuned because next week we'll be announcing their selections. 

Mountain to Mouth 2016: Day 2 in summary

Mountain to Mouth, Geelong's two day 80km Extreme Arts walk, has wrapped up its 2016 event lauded as a great success. Over 500 people registered to walk across the event, including 47 who completed the entire 80 kilometres, while over 6000 people attended the ceremonies that took place.

Together they contributed to the creation of a contemporary songline – a pathway across the regions of Geelong and Queenscliff inspired by traditional Indigenous pathways used for thousands of years to navigate across the land through song, story, dance and painting. Over 70 artists were commissioned to create work across the twelve walking circles and three ceremonies, which addressed issues relating to the environment they were set in as well as responding to this year's theme of “Air”.

Bright and early on day 2 of Mountain to Mouth 2016! Image by Dean Walters Photography

Bright and early on day 2 of Mountain to Mouth 2016!

Image by Dean Walters Photography

"Lost River View" by Jennifer McElwee. Image by Jo Mitchell.

"Lost River View" by Jennifer McElwee.

Image by Jo Mitchell.

On an early Saturday morning, on the second day of the Mountain to Mouth journey, a large group of fresh and seasoned walkers began the march to Barwon River Rowing Club. Representatives from the Karingal Foundation led the way out of the city and past the stadium before crossing the bridge and descending onto the walking track by the river. Walkers were greeted by people wielding lanterns whilst drumming plastic containers upon arrival at the sixth Songline Station. Here attendees appreciated Jennifer McElwee's magnificent sculpture "Lost River View", which is modelled on the shape of the river featured in Eugene von Guerard's painting View of Geelong 1856. The walking circle surrounding it was constructed with pots and pans that represented early settlements by the river and were filled with dry ice, creating a picturesque scene as the sun rose in the distance. Jennifer's walking circle examined the changing of environments driven by human settlement, giving walkers much to ponder upon as they continued the journey towards Christies Road led this time by local crossing supervisors.

Crossing supervisors carrying Canoe alongside the Barwon River towards Christies Rd. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Crossing supervisors carrying Canoe alongside the Barwon River towards Christies Rd.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

The long march to Christies Rd. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

The long march to Christies Rd.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Mirjana Margetic continued the theme of examining environmental issues at the eighth Songline Station. Upon arrival, walkers were led through a corridor of bush, where birds and nests made from recycled materials lay amongst the shrubs to be discovered by passers. As you exit the corridor, you are confronted with the sculpture of a tree with plastic bags full of different coloured liquids representing pollutants. The walking circle encourages viewers to consider the environmental issues facing the region and uses the pleasant walk through the green corridor full of birds and nests to make the tree at the end all the more provocative. Mirjana was on the ground enthusiastically giving tours to detail the installation's message and her artistic background to everyone who was interested. 

Mirjana Margetic speaking about her installation at Christies Rd. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Mirjana Margetic speaking about her installation at Christies Rd.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Ingrid Petterson's walking circle "Hearth Stories". Image by Azaan Naqshbandi

Ingrid Petterson's walking circle "Hearth Stories".

Image by Azaan Naqshbandi

From there the journey continued along the Bellarine Rail Trail as the overcast weather gave way for another beautiful and sunny day, with Canoe now carried by the Geelong Sustainability group. After a particularly long stage of walking, the procession arrived at Drysdale Station where Ingrid Petterson gave participants a ritualistic and sensual experience of sight, sound and scent in a charming and slightly pagan-esque walking circle. 

Alapcas leading the procession of Canoe. Image by Daniel Huigsloot.

Alapcas leading the procession of Canoe.

Image by Daniel Huigsloot.

Walkers were then provided a choice between continuing their journey on foot or riding Bellarine Railway's historic locomotive to Swan Bay, the site of the ninth walking circle. A small herd of alpacas escorted Canoe as it left Drysdale, with a few others posing for photos and seeing the train travelers off. As the journey descends into Queenscliff, participants are treated to outstanding views of Swan Bay and the entrance of Port Phillip Bay as the route passes by olive groves, vineyards and thickets of ancient moonah. 

The ninth walking circle was located beside the Swan Bay Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, where a number of walkers and visitors took up the opportunity to discover more about the wildlife of the bay with aquariums featuring a variety of fish species and a touch tank where visitors could get closer to animals like starfish and crabs. The walking circle itself housed an epic and monolithic basalt installation by renowned arts practitioner Glenn Romanis, "Banjo Ray", depicting one of the bays most famous residents. At this point, a lot of walkers seemed rather wearied, with a few taking a quick nap under the sun, while others proclaimed their intention to use the event's shuttle service for the next couple of stages.

An aerial shot of "Banjo Ray" by Glenn Romanis (If a person was in the shot they would take up about the space of one of the eyes). Image by Jarrod Boord.

An aerial shot of "Banjo Ray" by Glenn Romanis (If a person was in the shot they would take up about the space of one of the eyes).

Image by Jarrod Boord.

Walking by Swan Bay. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Walking by Swan Bay.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

The procession reaches the coast side.  Image by Dean Walters Photography.

The procession reaches the coast side. 

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

"Wind Worx II.1000" by Brian Thompson, overlooking the sea at Point Lonsdale. Image by Daniel Huigsloot.

"Wind Worx II.1000" by Brian Thompson, overlooking the sea at Point Lonsdale.

Image by Daniel Huigsloot.

Those who pressed on soon hit the coast, where they were met by a king tide before arriving at Point Lonsdale village. On the foreshore overlooking the sea, engineer turned artist Brian Thompson displayed an imposing and impressive metal structure inspired by the H2O cycle. The installation was meticulously constructed so that it would respond to changes in the weather, remaining in a state of continual interaction with the wind, sun, clouds and sea. Across the road meanwhile, the charming band of ukulele players were back on ground to serenade walkers and passers by as they rested and admired the artwork. 

The hooded plover lovers taking over the carrying of Canoe. Image by Daniel Huigsloot.

The hooded plover lovers taking over the carrying of Canoe.

Image by Daniel Huigsloot.

Next in line for the duty of carrying Canoe was a group of hooded plover conservationists, aptly self-dubbed "the hooded plover lovers". One of their charismatic members gave a quick speech discussing the importance of protecting these birds before the group donned their full-head plover masks and set off towards Ocean Grove. 

The threat of rain and a persistent king tide threatened to spoil the adventure, with the latter delaying the erection of Suyin Honeywell's beautiful "beacon of hope" walking circle installation set on the shores of Ocean Grove's main beach. Both gave way in time for everything to work out perfectly, and droves of beach goers were drawn to the spectacle of the tenth Songline Station on the beach opening, followed by the eventual arrival of Canoe and its procession. 

Suyin Honeywell's bamboo sculpture at the centre of the walking circle at Ocean Grove. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Suyin Honeywell's bamboo sculpture at the centre of the walking circle at Ocean Grove.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Crossing the final bridge. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Crossing the final bridge.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

All of a sudden we'd reached the final leg of the journey, as young lifeguards from the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club led the way towards Barwon Heads Foreshore for the final Songline Station and closing ceremony. The Mountain to Mouth procession crossed the last bridge to the mouth of the river and was greeted with cheers as thousands of people enjoyed the final walking circle was took positions on the foreshore, eagerly waiting for the closing ceremony to begin. Artists Michelle Fifer Spooner and Julie Shaw constructed a large sculpture of a feather, serving as a 'welcome home' totem echoing the journey and marking the end of the Extreme Arts walk. 

"Feather" by Michelle Fifer Spooner and Julie Shaw. Image by Daniel Huigsloot.

"Feather" by Michelle Fifer Spooner and Julie Shaw.

Image by Daniel Huigsloot.

And that was 80km done! Familiar faces from the previous ceremonies returned to give speeches proclaiming the success of its event and how magical it has been. Mountain to Mouth artistic director Meme McDonald commented that "Mountain to Mouth 2016 has exceeded our dreams of what could be achieved artistically - with what each artist contributed creatively - but also in how much it was embraced by the local communities along the walk."

The Gathering of the Elements ceremony was a truly magical end complete with stunning visuals and moving music that contributed to an Olympic Games-esque sense of grandeur. A group of drummers lead the procession of Canoe down from the final walking circle to the edge of the water. From across the other side of the river, a large egg floated towards spectators on a boat, watched over by spirit bird dancers who had appeared in the previous two ceremonies.

Hatching of the egg. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Hatching of the egg.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

The school of fish puppets at The Gathering of the Elements ceremony. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

The school of fish puppets at The Gathering of the Elements ceremony.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

As a school of fish puppets dashed across the foreshore, the egg hatched, with newly birthed spirit bird dancer performing a delightful dance as she brought the water carried by Canoe from the rockwell at You Yangs Big Rock and returned it to the sea. Canoe was then set alight and drifted out to sea, marking the end of a ritualistic journey and traversing of a contemporary songline. The crowd left knowing they'd seen something special and wishing something so magical could occur again sooner than in two years time. 

Water from the You Yangs rockwell is returned to the ocean. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Water from the You Yangs rockwell is returned to the ocean.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Canoe is set aflame. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Canoe is set aflame.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

The end of the journey.  

The end of the journey.

 

If you have any stories or pictures you'd like to share from Mountain to Mouth 2016, please do so across our social media channels. We would love to see them.

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/mtomgeelong

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mtomgeelong

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MountaintoMouth

 

Mountain to Mouth 2016: Day 1 in summary

Mountain to Mouth, Geelong's two day 80km Extreme Arts walk, has wrapped up its 2016 event lauded as a great success. Over 500 people registered to walk across the event, including 47 who completed the entire 80 kilometres, while over 6000 people attended the ceremonies that took place.

Together they contributed to the creation of a contemporary songline – a pathway across the regions of Geelong and Queenscliff inspired by traditional Indigenous pathways used for thousands of years to navigate across the land through song, story, dance and painting. Over 70 artists were commissioned to create work across the twelve walking circles and three ceremonies, which addressed issues relating to the environment they were set in as well as responding to this year's theme of “Air”.

Parks Victoria and Canoe artists Leonard Tebegetu and Mahony Kiely carrying Canoe through the first walking circle at the conclusion of The Gathering of the Elders ceremony. Image by Ed Sloane Photography

Parks Victoria and Canoe artists Leonard Tebegetu and Mahony Kiely carrying Canoe through the first walking circle at the conclusion of The Gathering of the Elders ceremony.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography

The journey begins. Image by Dean Walters Photography

The journey begins.

Image by Dean Walters Photography

The journey began midday on Friday 6 May at the You Yangs, where a large crowd gathered at Big Rock on a beautiful sunny day for The Gathering of the Elders ceremony and the start of the walk. Lead by Wadawurrung Elder Uncle Bryon Powell, the ceremony invited walkers and spectators to take a moment to acknowledge the land and its ancestors, to reflect upon where we come from as well as where we will travel to from here.

This was followed by the unveiling of Canoe, the lead ephemeral artwork designed by Papua New Guinean artist Leonard Tebegetu and Australian artist Mahony Kiely. Canoe's important task was to carry water from the ancient rockwell at You Yangs Big Rock to the mouth of Barwon River, where it is returned to the ocean in a spiritual and ritualistic journey. Once this water was harvested from the rockwell, the journey had begun.

CFA carry Canoe to Lara. Image by Dean Walters Photography

CFA carry Canoe to Lara.

Image by Dean Walters Photography

 

Various community groups were invited to carry Canoe for a stage of the walk as a way of honouring them. After Parks Victoria carried Canoe out of the ceremony, CFA members from Lara and Corio took over for the first eleven and a half kilometre leg of the journey, through farmland, bush and along the beautiful Kevin Hoffman Walk.

After what seemed to be a very sweaty journey for the local firefighters, the procession arrived at the historic Lara RSL where artists David Dellafiora and Teresa Lawrence displayed their handmade pinwheels assembled from recycled materials and animated by the wind.

Accompanying the installation were a charming group of local ukulele players, who sang and played while RSL members put on a sausage sizzle for those in attendance. 

 

Handmade pinwheels animated by wind at Lara RSL, the second Songline Station. Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

Handmade pinwheels animated by wind at Lara RSL, the second Songline Station.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

Canoe journeys through the wetlands. Image by Dean Walters Photography

Canoe journeys through the wetlands.

Image by Dean Walters Photography

After a brief rest the procession was off again, on route to Limeburners Lagoon. With the You Yangs already far in the distance, walkers were treated to more stunning sites as they walked alongside wetlands on the Hovells Creek Trail. These wetlands are an internationally protected site under the Ramsar treaty. Simon Macaulay used his walking circle installation to focus attention on the importance of protecting such sites. A large paper cube serving as a meditation space sat beside the walking circle, and the surrounding area was blanketed in a galaxy of small paper cubes that Simon was also handing out to everyone in attendance to remind them of the relationship between beauty and fragility. 

Simon Macaulay's walking circle MC3 at Limeburners Lagoon.  Image by Ed Sloane Photography

Simon Macaulay's walking circle MC3 at Limeburners Lagoon. 

Image by Ed Sloane Photography

Artist Simon Macaulay talks walkers through the messages of his installation. Image by Ed Sloane Photography

Artist Simon Macaulay talks walkers through the messages of his installation.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography

Ford factory workers carrying Canoe through industrial Geelong. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Ford factory workers carrying Canoe through industrial Geelong.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

As the sun set, the procession of walkers set off with Ford factory workers leading the way carrying Canoe. Walkers were treated to the beautifully lit up night time sites of Geelong's industrial area as they continued on to Moorpanyal Park. At the fourth Songline Station and walking circle in the journey, totems of "pop archaeology" greeted them.

Artist Miranda Kelly utilised discarded and obsolete objects to construct these totems which examined the prevalent nature of consumer-driven society in discarding materials that were once valued greatly, inviting people to consider the consequences of the debris that is created in the process. Deakin University representatives, who helped in the creation of the totems, then took over the reigns of carrying Canoe to Geelong's city centre.

Pop archaeology at Moorpanyal Park. Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

Pop archaeology at Moorpanyal Park.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

Pop archaeology at Moorpanyal Park. Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

Pop archaeology at Moorpanyal Park.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

Once the procession arrived in the city Mountain to Mouth collided with Geelong After Dark, Central Geelong's annual night of pop up arts. At Steampacket Gardens by the foreshore, Jacinta Leitch and Dare Tekin created a ritualistic space bordered by kinetic sculptures. This walking circle marked the half way point of the journey as well as being the site of Mountain to Mouth's second ceremony, The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities.

Deakin University academics arrive at Steampacket Gardens with Canoe for The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony. Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Deakin University academics arrive at Steampacket Gardens with Canoe for The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony.

Image by Dean Walters Photography.

Canoe sits in the centre of the dance space for the Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony. Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

Canoe sits in the centre of the dance space for the Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

The ceremony treated spectators to a visually dazzling and heatwarming display of music and dance as people from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds came together to celebrate diversity and connect in the timeless tradition of dance. Walkers then spent the rest of the evening enjoying Geelong After Dark, or for those who had walked the entirety of the event thus far, retired to get a big rest for the second (and slightly larger) half of the walk the following day.

The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony. Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony. Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony. Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

The Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities ceremony.

Image by Ed Sloane Photography.

If you have any stories or pictures you'd like to share from Mountain to Mouth 2016, please do so across our social media channels. We would love to see them.

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/mtomgeelong

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mtomgeelong

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MountaintoMouth

 

Mountain to Mouth 2016 artists get ready for the weekend

Our artists have been working very hard preparing for our Extreme Arts walk. We have over 70 artists working on this event, not including our extensive team of performers in ceremonies and countless volunteers from the community engaged in workshops and other aspects of the event. Here is a little look at some of the works in progress.

Here is a preview of Jennifer McElwee's magnificent sculpture, part of her Walking Circle at the sixth Songline Station. See the whole thing at 6am on Saturday 7 May at the Barwon River Rowing Precinct. 

 

 

 

Pop archaeology is taking over at Merinda Kelly's workshop in preparation for her Walking Circle at Moorpanyal Park.

Interactive and bound to be a highlight of the event, come on down to the fourth Songline Station, open from 5:30pm on Friday 6 May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacinta Leitch and Dare Tekin creating kinetic sculptures in the workshop for their Walking Circle at Steampacket Gardens.

This Songline Station is the central point of the journey and is where Mountain to Mouth collides with Geelong After Dark in the city. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some kids getting involved in a workshop designing birds and nests made from recycled materials for Mirjana Margetic's Walking Circle at Christies Rd.

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain to Mouth artistic director Meme McDonald and Canoe artists Leonard Tebegetu and Mahony Maia Kiely scouting the land in preparation for the event.

 

 

That's right! A sneak preview of Canoe itself, which is currently spending the week at the National Wool Museum. See it in action this weekend, starting from the Gathering of the Elders ceremony at You Yangs Big Rock at 12:30pm.

 

Mountain to Mouth (6-7 May) is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register Now 

 

Top 5 reasons to go to Mountain to Mouth 2016 this weekend


1 - Art like you've never seen it before!

From beaches to farmlands to wetlands to ancient mountaintops, prepare to experience extreme arts in extreme and unexpected environments.  The ephemeral art installations at Mountain to Mouth 2016 vary dramatically in style, genre and aesthetic.

They reflect the history of the area as well as addressing issues facing the environment of their setting. Mountain to Mouth 2016 is an unmissable chance to view these unique works which exist so temporarily. 

 

2 - Help us replant the land!

50% of tickets sold to Mountain to Mouth 2016 go towards funding an indigenous revegetation program across the Geelong and Queenscliff region.

This initiative will help retain the regions natural beauty, its biodiversity and ecological future. By walking this land, you're helping to preserve its future.

 

 

3 - Discover the land!

This is an opportunity to experience and discover the Geelong and Queenscliff regions in a very personal yet communal way.

The diversity of this region will startle and move you, with iconic coastal beaches, rural farmlands, industrial ports and more all along the route of the walk. This walk allows you to forge a bond with the land and its various intricacies. 

 

 

4 - Get fit!

What better way to motivate you to embark upon a significant physical challenge than to see Extreme Arts, protect the environment and discover the land?

The same question with the different aspects of it rearranged can be posed to just as great of an effect. That is what makes Mountain to Mouth so special and unique. You can choose the distance, and you can choose the challenge. 

 

 

5 - Connect with history

Discovery is a large component of this event. By witnessing the different areas of the region, you discover more about the nature of its past, its present and the reality of its future through the narratives told by the artists, local historians and indigenous elders. 

One final reason: Mountain to Mouth only occurs every two years, don't miss out!

 Mountain to Mouth (6-7 May) is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register Now 

Celebration and completion on the Barwon Heads foreshore

Over the past couple of months we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey of discovery. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just one week away, it's the last chance to check out all the different stages of the walk and register for the ones that most appeal to you.

THE BACKGROUND: Six District Coordinators organise the twelve Songline Stations across the 80km walk in the Geelong and Queenscliffe regions. Each Station features a walking circle punctuated by an installation, which range from a mixture of audio, interactive, visual and performance arts that interact with and reflect the diverse environments they are set in. Each of the walking circles express the unique nature of its locality and community, playing a significant role in transforming the walk into a journey that encourages its participants to discover extreme arts and the surrounding environment.

SONGLINE STATION 12: BARWON HEADS FORESHORE. We end our journey of discovery upon the coast of Barwon Heads, where highly esteemed installation artist Michelle Fifer Spooner reflects upon the strength and fragility of coastal environments. "Feather" forms a welcome home totem echoing journey and freedom and marking the end of the Extreme Arts Walk. Beneath the totem is a walking circle in sand designed by Julie Shaw and installed with the assistance of Barwon Heads residents. A trail of feathers have been leading Canoe and its procession of walkers along the 80 kilometre contemporary songline, and they represent the Wadawurrung story of how the Creator navigated across land by following the feathers dropped by the Swan sisters. 

Barwon Heads Foreshore Photo by Lynden Smith

Barwon Heads Foreshore

Photo by Lynden Smith

The themes of this story are explored further in the Gathering of the Elements, the ceremony of completion where water from the ancient hewn rock well at Big Rock in the You Yangs, that has been carried in Canoe over 80 kilometres, is returned to the sea in an expression of gratitude. Here river meets sea, freshwater and salt become one and mark a point in which we all stand in the past, present and future for one moment as we acknowledge the elements that came together to support our journey both as individuals and a community.

Fiona Duncan, district coordinator for Songline Station 12, expects the ceremony to be poetic and magnificent. She said that a lot of work has gone into the planning process of the completion ceremony, which is described as a dramatic, pyrotechnic display of performance art using the river, the beach, the pier and the ocean as a stage. Community groups were engaged to help create fish puppets for the ceremony, including students from Barwon Heads primary school and final year student teachers from the IKE (Koori Education) program at Deakin, who flew in from places as far as Darwin and Perth. 

Punters watching the burning of Canoe at Mountain to Mouth 2014 Photo by Gloria Van Der Meer

Punters watching the burning of Canoe at Mountain to Mouth 2014
Photo by Gloria Van Der Meer

During the ceremony Canoe, having completed its journey, will be set alight, reflecting the ephemeral nature of the journey and the walking circles throughout it. The installations and the journey itself will continue existing in the minds of the walkers who participated, allowing it to retain beauty in a way that can only be achieved by a temporary existence. 

The Songline Station at Barwon Heads Foreshore is open from 4:00pm-7:00pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after an easy-going 3km walk from Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club. Check out the timetable for more information. 

 Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register Now

Convergence of elements at the iconic Ocean Grove

Over the past couple of months we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey of discovery. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just one week away, it's the last chance to check out all the different stages of the walk and register for the ones that most appeal to you.

THE BACKGROUND: Six District Coordinators organise the twelve Songline Stations across the 80km walk in the Geelong and Queenscliffe regions. Each Station features a walking circle punctuated by an installation, which range from a mixture of audio, interactive, visual and performance arts that interact with and reflect the diverse environments they are set in. Each of the walking circles express the unique nature of its locality and community, playing a significant role in transforming the walk into a journey that encourages its participants to discover extreme arts and the surrounding environment.

SONGLINE STATION 11: OCEAN GROVE SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB. Located at one of the most iconic beaches of the region, a simple yet imposing bamboo structure sits as a beacon of hope, connecting the elements of air, water and earth to a place of dreaming. Fiona Duncan, the district coordinator for Songline Stations 11 and 12 describes the installation by Suyin Honeywell in the coveted Ocean Grove setting as clever and inspiring.

Fiona is no stranger to the coveted and inspiring, having spent the past 25 years as an Artist Manager and Consultant in the Australian Music Industry, which has seen her work alongside the likes of Nirvana, Nick Cave, Metallica and the Beastie Boys as well as on major events such as the Big Day Out. She echoes the familiar tale of moving to the coast from a bigger, busier place to fall in love with the Greater Geelong region. Witnessing Mountain to Mouth 2014 gave her an epiphany of how special, connected and wildly creative this community could be and how much she wanted to be a part of it, something she has proudly achieved. 

Ocean Grove Beach Photo by Craig Robinson

Ocean Grove Beach

Photo by Craig Robinson

"Air, Water, Earth and Dreaming" is a beautiful, natural structure that takes the shape of a tee-pee that reaches towards the sky. The silk flags mounted to the top of the structure will breathe life into it, showing the direction and movement of air. Interwoven pieces of driftwood, shells and rocks hang in the centre of the installation, reflecting the land that the piece lies on. Dream catchers made from a range of mixed-media material are suspended on each of the four walls. Children from the four local schools in Ocean Grove were invited to contribute to the making of these dream catchers, to strengthen to connection between the land and the community as well as harnessing the enthusiasm and energy of the youth.

Suyin is deeply interested in reflecting the physical and emotional relationships people develop with the natural environment and has an extensive background of presenting engaging and inclusive community arts projects. She has worked on a number of occasions with schools to facilitate students in the making and creating of large projects in coastal and rural townships throughout Victoria. 

The Songline Station at Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club is open from 4:00pm-6:00pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 8.5km walk from Point Lonsdale Village. Please note that this is a particularly hard leg of the walk as it is all on soft sand. Check out the timetable for more information. 

 Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now. 

Are you ready for Mountain to Mouth 2016?

Mountain to Mouth 2016 is just under a week away, meaning it's time to make sure you are registered and prepared for the event. This means discussing a few things some of us might forget in the excitement of it all.


          What to Bring

  • Ensure you have comfortable clothes for a variety of hot, cold, wet and dry weather, including raincoats, hat/hood, poncho etc. 
     
  • Durable, well-fitting footwear suitable for walking distances.
     
  • Thick and breathable socks with anti-chafing products for walkers planning on doing long distances.
     
  • Sunscreen and refillable water bottle.
     
  • Trail mix/snack food and money to purchase food.
     
  • A fully charged torch if you are walking at night or early in the morning.
     
  • A fully charged mobile phone.
     

    Amenities

  • Toilets will be available at each of the 12 Songline Stations during the walk. This includes accessible toilets. 
     
  • Drinking water is available at each Songline Station. 
     
  • Toilets are also available near Suma Park railway siding, mid point between Drysdale and Swan Bay. The stages from Drysdale to Swan Bay, and from Point Lonsdale to Ocean Grove, are particularly long. Walkers should plan accordingly.




          Transport and Parking
 

  • Free shuttle buses are available to registered walkers between Songline Stations along the walk. Use your Mountain to Mouth 2016 passport to gain access. No payment or booking is necessary for these coaches if you are a registered walker.

    Note that these buses take walkers back through all the previous Songline Stations before travelling forward along the path of the walk. Shuttle buses will depart from each Songline Station approximately 15 minutes after Canoe has departed. To get an idea of the timing, consult the timetable.
     
  • A coach will depart from a signed bus bay at Geelong Railway Station, to Big Rock at the You Yangs at 12pm Friday 6 May, for the Gathering of the Elders ceremony and the start of the walk. 

    A coach will depart from a signed bus bay at Barwon Heads Foreshore to Geelong Railway Station at 8pm Saturday 7 May, after the conclusion of the event.

    Seats for these trips need to be reserved through the registration portal. Tickets for these trips are $5 return and are payable at the time of registration or in cash on the bus. 
     
  • Limited parking will be available within the vicinity of the Songline Stations.
     
  • Please note that parking is very limited at You Yangs Big Rock on Friday 6 May and walkers should plan for this in advance.


          Food
 

  • Karingal will be providing fruit and other food goods for a gold coin donation.
     
  • A number of Songline Stations will feature a variety of food and beverages from local vendors that can be purchased. 
     
  • There will be extensive dining options in the Central Geelong area. Check out www.centralgeelong.com.au for more information. 
     
  • At the Heads is a beachfront eatery in Barwon Heads, located within the vicinity of the last Songline Station, which they officially sponsor. We highly recommend walkers visit this charming, relaxed, nautical-themed restaurant which uses sustainable produce and methods to deliver delicious meals. 

 

         The Walk

  • It is highly recommended that you train in advance and consider your physical fitness level. Contact your GP for advice if you have any considerations. Have a realistic goal for your participation in the walk and be aware of your limitations. Please look at our fitness guide to get an idea of an appropriate amount of training in preparation for the event.
     
  • All care has been taken to ensure that the route follows the safest pathways wherever possible, however we cannot guarantee that the condition of the path meets your abilities. Consult the timetable for details of the pathway or the Route Marshals on the walk for advice. 
     
  • Make sure you walk at a pace that suits you and rest regularly. There is no need to keep pace with Canoe or other walkers. 
     
  • We recommend that walkers planning on completing long distances do so in company and/or arrange support teams that can travel by car and carry belongings, provide nourishment, transport and moral support. 
     
  • Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. 

 

          Accessibility

  • Many parts of the walk are uneven, and include sealed and unsealed paths, as well as steps, inclines and declines. The stages between Songline Stations 10, 11 and 12, are along the beach, on wet sand, and across informal gravel paths. Walkers may wish to personally assess the stages or only complete the Walking Circles (which are free to everyone). Certain aspects of this walk are not fully accessible.

    Please note that the stage from Steampacket Gardens to the Barwon River, which will take place on Saturday 7 May, is via a footpath. The stage involves a moderate gradient up to McKillop Street, a moderate decline to the Barwon River, as well as a short gravel path to the sealed path towards Barwon River rowing sheds. We recommend that you make a self assessment about this journey based on your individual requirements. 


    Anything else?
     
  • Everyone is welcome to experience any of the 12 Walking Circles or 3 ceremonies without registering. It is a great way for friends and family to be involved for free. The registration process constitutes a donation to the Green Corridor strategy, the artists and the future of Mountain to Mouth. 
     
  • The Connecting Memories app app gives you access to a rich collection of digital stories about the iconic places and people of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula. The app allows you to hear diverse voices telling fascinating local stories through short films, audio narration, music, images and text.  Find out more information here.
     

Reflecting natural cycles at Point Lonsdale

Over the past few weeks we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 under 2 weeks away, there is no better time to register and begin engaging with the different aspects of the event.

THE BACKGROUND: Six District Coordinators organise the twelve Songline Stations across the 80km walk in the Geelong and Queenscliffe regions. Each Station features a walking circle punctuated by an installation, which range from a mixture of audio, interactive, visual and performance arts that interact with and reflect the diverse environments they are set in. Each of the walking circles express the unique nature of its locality and community, playing a significant role in transforming the walk into a journey that encourages its participants to discover extreme arts and the surrounding environment.

SONGLINE STATION 10: POINT LONSDALE VILLAGE. In a quiet village within the Borough of Queenscliffe, a walking circle of a different kind will sit juxtaposed against the expansive views of Port Phillips Head. "Wind Worx II.1000" is an installation that is inspired by the H20 cycle, referencing the continual interaction of wind, sun, clouds and the ocean. Although this cycle is well-understood and known by most, it is worth reflecting on the significance of this energy exchange. The continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth influences the climate and shapes the geological features of the land. It is a never-ending dance of energy flows with incredible varieties in physical processes that sustain all life and ecosystems on the planet.

The sculptured rocks and rock pools at the beach in Point Lonsdale. Photo by Dennis C via Tripadvisor

The sculptured rocks and rock pools at the beach in Point Lonsdale.

Photo by Dennis C via Tripadvisor

The artist for this walking circle, Brian Thompson comes from a background of technical engineering, a skill that has taken him to mine sites and industrial plants around the country and the world. His artistic style has its root in industrial design, which seems to give him a more methodological and scientific approach in comparison to some of the other walking circle artists found across the event. On the other hand, he also has a background as a magician and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Driving this interest is his fascination with the art of illusion.

Preliminary design for Point Lonsdale installation.

Preliminary design for Point Lonsdale installation.

In his art installation he consolidates this attraction to magical illusions with his scientific background by focusing on kinetic sculpture, which has its own dynamic visuals that are almost an optical illusion. Here it is seen how much the lines can be blurred between science and magic, and often the two can be almost mistakable or from certain perspectives, the same thing. The H20 cycle is an undoubtedly scientific process, but it cannot be denied that both the process and result of it are magical. 

The Songline Station at Point Lonsdale Village is open from 1:30pm-3:45pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 2.8km walk from Swan Bay. Check out the timetable for more information. 

 Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register Now

 

Discover the Banjo Ray at Swan Bay

Over the past few weeks we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just under 2 weeks away, there is no better time to register and begin engaging with the different aspects of the event.

THE BACKGROUND: Six District Coordinators organise the twelve Songline Stations across the 80km walk in the Geelong and Queenscliffe regions. Each Station features a walking circle punctuated by an installation, which range from a mixture of audio, interactive, visual and performance arts that interact with and reflect the diverse environments they are set in. Each of the walking circles express the unique nature of its locality and community, playing a significant role in transforming the walk into a journey that encourages its participants to discover extreme arts and the surrounding environment.

SONGLINE STATION 9: SWAN BAY - MARINE AND FRESHWATER DISCOVERY CENTRE. Leanne Stein is the District Coordinator for Songline Stations 9 and 10. She is an Arts Officer with Borough of Queenscliffe, putting her in an ideal position to oversee Songline Stations located in the Borough. She has experience in supporting an environment in which arts activities can flourish as well as having the necessary community ties for these activities to have a meaningful impact and reach.

Swan Bay is a wetlands site of international significance, providing a magical ecosystem for a myriad of animal and plant species. It is renowned for its diversity of migratory birds, with as many as 200 species seen in the area, some of which are endangered. Each year, as many as 10, 000 migratory wading birds descend on the waterway, some of which migrate from as far away as Alaska and Siberia - a round trip of over 24,000 km (Makes the 80km walk sound like nothing!). 

Discovering wildlife at Swan Bay

Discovering wildlife at Swan Bay

It is for these reasons that Swan Bay is protected under the Ramsar agreement. The treaty was negotiated through the sixties and came into force in 1975 as a response to global concerns about the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitats for migratory waterbirds. Wetlands are vital for human survival, being among the world's most productive environments as a cradle of biological diversity upon which countless species of plants and animals depend for survival. Wetlands also play a key role in the carbon cycle, holding twice as much carbon as the world's rainforests and stemming the negative effects of climate change.

Banjo Ray installation, first concept

Banjo Ray installation, first concept

"Banjo Ray", the walking circle at this site, depicts another iconic resident of Swan Bay through a large, temporary basalt installation. Banjo Rays are one of the largest species of stingrays in Australia and live amongst the seagrass beds in this beautiful and unique habitat. This depiction tells one of the many stories that make Swan Bay a place of such importance. Artist Glenn Romanis is a renowned arts practitioner with a history of over 150 large scale public and community arts projects. He seeks to tell stories that inform about the natural and cultural histories attributed to a place in order to foster respect and understanding for the land. 

Wooden Echidna sculptures at Jan Juc Park by Glenn Romanis

Wooden Echidna sculptures at Jan Juc Park by Glenn Romanis

Walkers travelling from the previous Songline Station at Drysdale Station are given the exciting option to take an iconic train hauled by a historic locomotive between Drysdale and Queenscliff as part of a partnership between Bellarine Railway and Mountain to Mouth. The train line was built in 1879 and offers outstanding views of Swan Bay, the entrance of Port Phillip Bay, olive groves and vineyards, winding through thickets of ancient moonah as it descends towards Queenscliffe. After travelling through the remnant bush land of the Bellarine Peninsula, participants arrive at the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre half an hour before the "Banjo Ray" walking circle opens. The Centre features aquariums and touch tanks where visitors can get closer to animals like starfish and crabs, as well as boardwalks with more stunning views of the area that walkers can enjoy before the Songline Station opens at 12:30pm. 

The Touch Tank at The Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre

The Touch Tank at The Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre

The Bellarine Railway is a integral part of Queenscliff's local history, and offers a significant contribution to the combination of arts, culture and community that Mountain to Mouth  2016 represents. Tickets for the train journey are $20 (adults), $15 (seniors, children), and $40 (family, 2 adults, up to 3 children) and can be purchased directly from the Bellarine Railway.

The train departs Drysdale Station at 11:20am and arrives at Swan Bay Station at 12:00pm. The Songline Station at the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre is open from 12:30pm-3:00pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 13.9km walk (or train ride) from Drysdale Station. Check out the timetable for more information. 

 Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now.

 

The origins of Mountain to Mouth

Mountain to Mouth was envisioned as part of the "Connecting Identities" project in 2007, which was created in response to the rapid changes that were taking place at the time in the Geelong region across all levels of the community, the economy and the landscape. These changes and upheavals were felt by some to create a sense of discord and negative perception about the direction the region was headed.

This project aimed to create links across the increasingly diverse municipality and reinforce the importance of local places and community by encouraging people to connect with the land and with each other. Mountain to Mouth was a vessel to achieve this through a collaborative, community based project that told an important story with important messages. Establishing a connection to the land could be done by introducing the indigenous concept of the Songline - a path across the land recorded through a song describing landmarks and natural phenomena. Mountain to Mouth was to create a contemporary songline, allowing the community to establish a significant bond and sense of respect for the land and its history. 

The first version of this project in 2009 was a 54km relay from Barwon Heads to the You Yangs, and was called Mouth to Mountain. 144 ambassadors representing the 12 wards of Council carried water from Barwon Heads – kayaking, on horses, strolling, in processions, by train, in utes, on bike and foot. People of Geelong joined the relay at locations along the way, taking a moment to reflect on the gift of water, the memory it holds, the connection it makes between people and places, and the future it creates. Artworks marked the journey through iconic locations arriving at dusk for a big celebration at Big Rock.

The event was so well received in the community that it was redesigned in 2014 to be a larger and more inclusive event that would occur every two years. Mountain to Mouth 2014 was the first incarnation of the event as we know it today; an 80km walk over two days from the You Yangs to the mouth of Barwon Heads. 

Close to 1,000 people took part in some or all of the 80km journey, more than 80 artists worked with over 2,400 participants to create thousands of art works that featured along the journey, and an estimated 12,000 people gathered to watch various aspects of the event. With major awards and community appraisals under its belt, Mountain to Mouth aims to continue sharing this very unique and wonderful event with all aspects of the community and beyond this year, and for years to come.

 Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now.

 

 

Hearth stories and historic train rides at Drysdale station

Over the past few weeks, we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just 2 weeks away, there is no better time to register and begin engaging with the different aspects of the event.

THE BACKGROUND: Six District Coordinators organise the twelve Songline Stations across the 80km walk in the Geelong and Queenscliffe regions. Each Station features a walking circle punctuated by an installation, which range from a mixture of audio, interactive, visual and performance arts that interact with and reflect the diverse environments they are set in. Each of the walking circles express the unique nature of its locality and community, playing a significant role in transforming the walk into a journey that encourages its participants to discover extreme arts and the surrounding environment.

SONGLINE STATION 8: DRYSDALE STATION. Located in the centre of the picturesque, rolling farmlands of the Bellarine, the Songline Station at Drysdale Station gives walkers the chance to connect with the unique character of an area quite different to others found in this journey of discovery. Artist Ingrid Petterson hopes to tell stories that evoke the industrial and agricultural history of the region through a multi-sensual experience of sight, sound and scent. Described as a steamy sound sculpture, "Hearth Stories" is a walking circle that gives voice to Drysdale's character through tales that would be told around the community fire or the hearth at home. They speak of both personal and collective experiences that examine the relationship between humankind and nature, survival and evolution, individuality and collectivism. Ingrid describes her art as medicine, which is intuitive, elemental and experiential. Through her walking circle, she invites participants to hear the sounds of people and place. 

Ingrid's "art medicine" - pictured here with Costa Georgiadis. 

Ingrid's "art medicine" - pictured here with Costa Georgiadis. 

"Edmonson Tickets" from the 19th century, still used by heritage railways.

"Edmonson Tickets" from the 19th century, still used by heritage railways.

 

As the journey continues towards Swan Bay, walkers are given the exciting option to take an iconic train hauled by a historic locomotive between Drysdale and Queenscliffe as part of a partnership between the Bellarine Railway and Mountain to Mouth. The train line was built in 1879 and offers outstanding views of Swan Bay, the entrance of Port Phillip Bay, olive groves and vineyards, winding through thickets of ancient moonah as it descends towards Queenscliff.

Bellarine Railway "Pozieres" at Banks Road. 

Bellarine Railway "Pozieres" at Banks Road. 

After travelling through the remnant bush land of the Bellarine Peninsula, participants arrive at the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, the site of the next Songline Station, where they have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the marine and birdlife Swan Bay supports as a Ramsar site. The Centre features aquariums and touch tanks where visitors can get closer to animals like starfish and crabs. Visitors can also wander the boardwalks to experience more stunning views of the area before the ninth Songline Station opens at 12:30pm. 

The Bellarine Railway is a integral part of Queenscliff's local history, and offers a significant contribution to the combination of arts, culture and community that Mountain to Mouth 2016 represents. Tickets for the train journey are $20 (adults), $15 (seniors, children), and $40 (family, 2 adults, up to 3 children) and can be purchased directly from the Bellarine Railway.

The train departs Drysdale Station at 11:20am and arrives at Swan Bay Station at 12:00pm.  The Songline Station at Drysdale Station is open from 11:00am-1:45pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), following a 7.6km walk from Christies Rd. Check out the timetable for more information. 

 Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now.

 

Connecting Memories app update

The Connecting Memory app has just been updated to dramatically improve user experience, with easier layouts, smaller download size and seamless integration with online maps.

The app taps into a rich collection of digital stories about the iconic places and fascinating people of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula. Local voices tell local stories through film, spoken word, song, images and text. 

Stories are clustered around the footprint of the Mountain to Mouth Contemporary Songline, a path which extends from the You Yangs Regional Park mountain range to the beautiful Barwon Heads river. The app is a useful and experience enhancing companion for participants of Mountain to Mouth 2016 as it alerts you to nearby stories.

Travellers on the route can unearth content by traversing the land and walking circles based on ancient labyrinth designs to unlock stories as they pass through grasslands, industrial nightscapes, the city centre, rural landscapes and beaches across the diverse municipality. 

Highlights include Serendip wildlife sanctuary, Bob McGovern Path, Hovells Creek, Limeburners Lagoon, North Geelong and North Shore, Corio Bay, Western Bay walk, Geelong Waterfront, Steampacket Gardens, Bellarine Rail Trail, Swan Bay, Point Lonsdale, Ocean Grove Beach and Barwon Heads. 

Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now.

Green Corridor Strategy kicks off!

Half of all tickets sold at Mountain to Mouth 2016 go towards funding a planting program of indigenous species along the 80km walk, called the Green Corridor strategy. It is a long term vision focused on connecting local communities and revegetation organisations together, in order to help revegetate local habitats and retain the regions natural beauty. 

Today the Mountain to Mouth team, Karingal Foundation, Parks Victoria and an entourage of over 40 volunteers successfully conducted the first major planting at Big Rock in the You Yangs, an important site for indigenous heritage, ecology and the starting point for the Extreme Arts walk. 

650 indigenous flora were planted over two sessions, helping the ecology of the You Yangs to get back on track. Matt Crawley, one of Mountain to Mouth 2016's district coordinators and part of the Bellarine Landcare Group,  said the area contained a lot of biodiversity but the ground-level plant life has become sparse due to pests like rabbits. 

The planting has seen 150 bidgee widgees, 50 snowy mint-bushes, 250 pots of kangaroos grass and 200 pots of basket grass reintroduced to the area, which will initiate a positive chain reaction for the local environment, including giving natural wildlife such as kangaroos the ideal plant life to graze on. 

Suzette Jackson is the Green Corridor coordinator, responsible for overseeing this very important aspect of the Mountain to Mouth project. She has been instrumental in numerous regional sustainability initiatives in the Geelong region and is a director of Innate Ecology. With a strong focus on sustainable living and healthy regions, she is excited to have initiated the project with such success and enthusiasm from partners and volunteers.

Suzette Jackson addressing the planting team. 

Suzette Jackson addressing the planting team. 

Tamara Karner, a team leader at Parks Victoria who is responsible for the You Yangs regional park, says they are ecstatic to have plant life reintroduced to the area after so many years without it. A rabbit-proof fence is being installed to ensure the new plants are not decimated by the pests. 

Esther Konings-Oakes, the district coordinator for the Songline Station at the You Yangs will coordinate volunteers to maintain the planting in the lead up to event. This team will also clear the ceremonial circle of noxious weeds and debris in time for Mountain to Mouth 2016's indigenous dance and welcoming ceremony, "Gathering of the Elders". She is in the process of organising regular days where volunteers get together to maintain this important and treasured environment. 

The upcoming installation of Mountain to Mouth walking maps and signage at a number of sites will encourage year-round walking of the Contemporary Songline.

 Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now.

Reinvigorating natural beauty at Christies Road

As Mountain to Mouth 2016 approaches, we thought it was time to take a closer look at the Artists and District Coordinators who are guiding different aspects of the journey.

THE BACKGROUND: Six District Coordinators organise the twelve Songline Stations across the 80km walk in the Geelong and Queenscliffe regions. Each Station features a walking circle punctuated by an installation, which range from a mixture of audio, interactive, visual and performance arts that interact with and reflect the diverse environments they are set in. Each of the walking circles express the unique nature of its locality and community, playing a significant role in transforming the walk into a journey that encourages its participants to discover extreme arts and the surrounding environment.

One of the plantings at Christies Road Photo by Matt Crawley 

One of the plantings at Christies Road

Photo by Matt Crawley 

SONGLINE STATION 7: CHRISTIES ROAD. Rachella Thomas is the District Coordinator for the seventh and eighth Songline Stations. With over 15 years experience in events that span from food and wine festivals, event management in the city of Wyndam, to the Royal Melbourne Show, she brings a wealth of valuable experience to Mountain to Mouth 2016. Getting to know the community she lives in and contributing to it is important to Rachella, leading her to spend a large part of the 2 years since she moved to Geelong building networks through volunteering. A month after she moved to Geelong, Mountain to Mouth 2014 was on. Knowing little about the event, she decided to go and was blown away by the great display of creativity and community. Rachella jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this event, which she felt encompassed her personal journey of getting to know all the aspects of the Geelong region, the landscape and it's people. 

Volunteers from the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail in action. 

Volunteers from the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail in action. 

Christies Road is a significant environmental site for the Mountain to Mouth project. Indigenous plants have been recently reintroduced at the site as part of the event's ecological initiative, the "Green Corridor" strategy, which is the execution of a long term vision to revegetate the local habitat with plantings of Indigenous species of grasses, trees and shrubs. Half of the tickets sold go towards funding this project, which connects local communities and revegetation organisations together to care for the eleven songline corridors across the 80km walk so that the region can retain its natural beauty. Walking maps and signage at a number of these sites will eventually be installed to encourage all year walking of this contemporary songline. The planting at Christies Road was conducted by the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail,  a volunteer group committed to the indigenous revegetation of the Bellarine Rail Trail. They have planted approximately 83, 000 indigenous flora since their inception in 2002. 

Workshop session making birds and nests.  Photo by Rachella Thomas

Workshop session making birds and nests. 

Photo by Rachella Thomas

The walking circle at Christies Road invites and provokes people's understanding of the environmental issues facing the region. "Grey Tree" is an artwork that represents a living narrative, employing the use of poetic visual metaphors and symbolic meanings to deal with growing questions about our impact on the land. Artist Mirjana Margetic, who is passionate about exploring the concept of human impact on the environment, wants to bring particular attention on air pollution and acid rain.

Birds and nests made in workshops from found and recycled objects with local residents are hidden in the shrubs for walkers to discover as they follow the path of the walking circle. 

The Songline Station at Christies Road is open from 8:00am-10:15am on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 10km walk from the Barwon River Rowing Precinct. Check out the timetable for more information. 

 Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now.