July 16, 2019
They’re back! Wondai’s wandering warrigals have returned to the roundabout near the Art Gallery, ready to howl again into the night sky.
The statues of the two dingoes were originally created by South Burnett sculptor Kurt Keung and stood proudly at the town entrance for many years.
(“Wondai” is said to mean dingo, probably derived from the Wakka Wakka word “watya”.)
However, time and vandals had not been kind to the statues and then when one of them was stolen last year, it looked like their number could be up.
The theft, which left one lone dingo mounting guard over the town, left local residents devastated.
The missing statue was quickly located and the thief charged, but the dingo never made its way back to its favourite rock pool because of some damage.
Then when the second dingo “disappeared” earlier this year, some of the townsfolk went into mourning (or, at least, posted queries on social media …)
But it was actually good news.
South Burnett Regional Council had received a pool of funds from the Federal Government’s “Community Infrastructure Improvement Program” to be spread across multiple projects … and one of them was Wondai’s dingoes.
Cr Ros Heit said $25,000 from this grant was allocated to repair the fountain, floodlighting and pond, and replace the statues.
The job was given to Kilkivan metal sculptor Dan Davie who took moulds of the original sculptures and re-cast them in stronger, long-lasting steel.
Dan is the man responsible for the Charlotte the Emu statue, just up the road from the dingoes, which memorialises the much-loved local icon who died in 2014.
He also made the statue of Fabian Webb riding “Smoky” which stands proudly outside Kilkivan Town Hall.
Council workers re-mounted the new dingoes in their rock pool on Sunday.
Cr Ros Heit said more work will be done on the pond in the next few weeks, including fixing the fountain and lights.
This time, would-be thieves will have a much tougher job … the dingoes are bolted in place as well as held down by concrete.
Cr Heit is now looking at how work could be done to repair the statue of the bullocks near the Timber Museum which have also suffered wear and tear over the years.
“I’d like to do the bullocks, too. They are definitely past their use-by date,” she said.