Brisbane City Council helps to preserve and communicate Aboriginal cultural heritage through initiatives such as bushland culture trails.

Nurri Millen totems - Boondall Wetlands

In 1996, nationally renowned Indigenous artist, the late Ron Hurley, worked with six local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to study and research the Indigenous culture of the Boondall Wetlands. Together, they developed and reinforced their cultural identity by creating a series of contemporary totems symbolising various aspects of their culture. The totems form part of Council's public art collection.

The 18 cast aluminium totems refer to food, plants and animals, tools, camp life and the Dreaming. Each totem is placed near a related site, or plant and animal habitat within the wetlands. Many of the totems are supported or framed by tools including shields and boomerangs.

Indigenous people have an extensive history in the region. The wetlands in Boondall and Tinchi Tamba contained campsites, ceremonial grounds and essential supplies such as food, fibres and medicines. Today, many local groups continue to have direct ties to this land for ceremonial and teaching purposes. This artwork is an important tool to communicate the area's stories and traditions, and to celebrate its cultural significance. 

Find out more about the Boondall Wetlands.

Nurri Millen Totem Trail map and text views

Photo gallery

View images of the totems (landscape orientation) as a slideshow. Alternatively, view the images with full artwork descriptions in our Nurri Millen Totem Trail album in Flickr.

Nurri Millen Totem Trail, Boondall Wetlands
Last updated: 9 January 2023

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.