Yanangunla, barayangunla mari bula
Let’s move together and sing out loud
Naawala, mimugurubuni, yanagn un, ngyinarigai gana manuwi
Look, do not close your eyes, we walk together, with feet on fire

~ Joel Davison from ‘The Wounded Brave

Cookaroo Flow celebrates the poetry created by First Nations students from Sydney and the Northern Territory during Poetry in First Languages workshops in December. The Gardens are located on Gadigal Country, and Cookaroo is the Gadigal name for the area.

Created by Allan Giddy, Cookaroo Flow features Gadigal poems in language, embedding them in two key water sites in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney from 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019. The poems were written and recorded during November workshops with Gadigal Language Custodian Joel Davison and Gunai poet Kirli Saunders. Cookaroo Flow is a participatory, site- and culture-responsive audio installation, which uses the natural flow of water to convey the voices of First Nations children, speaking words that they have written in their local languages.

“The children’s words, recorded and edited into a soundscape, will be ‘released’ into the water to flow to the oceans.” ~ Allan Giddy

How does it work?

This work is invisible to passers by, but hold one end of a stick against your ear and the other in the water to listen to the new poetry created in workshops from Poetry in First Languages.

Partners & supporters

  • Royal Botanic Garden & Domain Trust

  • Australia Council for the Arts

  • Create NSW

  • City of Sydney


  • Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

  • Graeme Wood Foundation

  • National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA)