Bega Valley Public School Aboriginal students involved in the Archibull Project

Bega is a town in the south-east of New South Wales and is the traditional land of the Djirringanj people. In the 1830s, the white explorers who passed through this region and the surrounding communities saw this land as very fertile and established strong agricultural crops and dairy farming communities.

In 1899, the establishment of the Bega Creamery Co-operative initiative united the dairy farms in the region to one central production factory. The Co-operative initially produced butter and milk, which sold around the country, and by 1949 the Bega Co-operative produced one of Australia’s best known cheese brands – Bega Cheese.

Bega also has a rich Aboriginal history and as a school project we felt it was important to acknowledge the traditional Aboriginal land and culture in which this industry was established. This is represented by the different Aboriginal design elements and symbolism painted onto the calf. Each shape shows a map of the outlying dairy farming communities within the community.


The central circle on the back of the calf is the town of Bega. The black lines are roads connecting the surrounding communities together from Tilba (the head) to Tathra (hind leg). We also felt it was important to include the significant sacred cultural sites that are special to the Aboriginal people as a part of the map of the region. These include the head, representing Gulaga (the mother) Mountain; the yellow shape with blue, green and purple dot painting on the right side representing Biamanga (Mumbula) Mountain; and the yellow under the belly represents Mimosa Rocks.

Story contributed by Marcus Mundy from the Bega Local AECG Committee published in 2015.