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Australia Decoded
'W-5'


Close-Up of a Common Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus)

Close-Up of a Common Wombat

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WimmeraWimmera—a region of western Victoria forming part of the Murray-Darling Basin. The region is landlocked and covers about 23,400sq km. Approximately 85 per cent of the region has been cleared, and agriculture is the major land use in the Wimmera. Other land uses include urban settlement, mining and forestry. South-west Wimmera features approximately 3000 wetlands, which account for about 25 per cent of Victoria's individual wetlands (6 per cent of the state's total wetland area). They occur in chains that form the surface water drainage system—in place of a more defined river system—and generally flow in a north-westerly direction. These wetland chains generally start near the Glenelg River Catchment in the south and go through to the Little Desert National Park in the north. They were formed after the sea receded about 4 million years ago in the east near Mount Arapiles and about 2 million years ago to the west near the South Australian/Victorian border. The Wimmera has a semi-arid climate, in which rainfall ranges from 1,000mm per year in the Grampians to 550mm per year on the southern plains and 300mm per year on the northern plains. Annual rainfall is greatest during the months of May to October. Summer temperatures are usually hot and winter is generally mild with occasional frosts. In most years evaporation exceeds rainfall in all months in the north of the catchment.

Wimmera River—the largest river in Victoria that does not flow to the sea. The Wimmera River originates on the Great Dividing Range near Beaufort and ends in a series of terminal lakes, including Lake Hindmarsh and Lake Albacutya, and ending in the floodplains of Outlook Creek. The rivers main stem rises in the Pyrenees Range near Ararat and flows for about 200km before reaching Lake Hindmarsh and then flowing through to the Ramsar-listed Lake Albacutya. The lower reaches of the Wimmera River have been proclaimed as a Heritage River by the Victorian government.

win on points—to win on general performance rather than on one act.

Windies—1. the West Indies cricket team. 2. people from the West Indies.

Windjana GorgeWindjana Gorge National Park—home to the amazing Windjana Gorge, which reaches a height of about 90 metres. The 3.5km-long gorge was carved into a 350-million-year-old limestone reef. Cross-sections through the Devonian 'Great Barrier Reef' can be seen in the walls of Windjana Gorge. In such places, you can see where flat-lying limestone beds grade into steeply dipping beds. The flat-lying beds are the back reef limestones, laid down within protected lagoons between the reef and the shore. The front of the reef, which faced the sea, is marked by the steeply dipping marginal slope or forereef limestones. Around the reef, calcareous mudstones, sandstones and thin limestones represent material deposited in the deeper and quieter waters of the main basin adjacent to the reef. Here, fossil ammonoids (shelled animals that are now extinct), nautiloids and more than 25 species of the prehistoric, armour-plated fish that dominated Devonian times may be found. There is a walk along the gorge from the small camping ground within the park. The Lennard River that created the gorge flows only during short periods in the Wet, when it is frequently torrential. Several small and isolated but permanent pools are home to fish and freshwater crocodiles during most of the year. Located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

windscreen—windshield.

windscreen wiper—windshield wiper.

Windsor TablelandWindsor Tableland—lies to the north-west of Mount Carbine, between the Cooktown Road and the coast in Far North Queensland. It is isolated from the Mount Lewis rainforest by the deep McLeod River valley. The tableland's vegetation is moist, low, simple evergreen notophyll-microphyll vine forest on siliceous shallow soils of exposed upland-highland (ca. 800-1200 metres) granitic ridges of subcoastal ranges.

wine-bibber/dot—a heavy drinker of wine; a wino.

Wineglass Bay—the bay is a wonderful surprise when you climb over the saddle in the Hazards—the jagged range of pink and grey granite peaks on the east coast peninsula that is the Freycinet National Park. The bay’s perfect curve of white sand, blue sea and sky form a stunning picture. In 1999 the American travel magazine Outside voted Wineglass Bay one of the top ten beaches in the world, saying, ’This beach on the Tasman Sea forms a half-moon shape so precise it could be the smiley mouth on a Have A Nice Day button.... This place defines the word getaway; it’s rugged, serene and vast’. Located in Tasmania.

wing man—(Australian Rules football) a player in the wing position.

winkers—the eyes.

Winton—first settled in 1875, when it was known as Pelican Waterhole, Winton is perhaps most famous for being the site of the composition of that famous outback ditty Waltzing Matilda, written by A B (Banjo) Paterson at Dagworth Station (just outside Winton) in 1895, with its first performance said to have been at the town's North Gregory Hotel on 6 April that year. Since then, Winton has recognised its place as the "home" of Australian bush poetry with its annual Bronze Swagman Award, as well as the biannual Outback Festival. It's also the place where Qantas was born in November 1920 and, earlier, the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party.

Winton FormationWinton Formation—the rocks of the Winton Formation in Queensland date to around 97-95 million years ago (MYA), which was during the very earliest part of the Late Cretaceous. Few good dinosaur skeletons have been discovered in the Winton Formation sediments. The best fossils are of sauropods, including several specimens that appear to be a species of Austrosaurus, and "Elliot", which may also be related to these animals. Only large dinosaurs are known from these deposits due to the slow rate of erosion in much of outback Australia, which means that fossils are not uncovered quickly. Instead they tend to spend a lot of time in the soil zone between the surface and the underlying rock, where chemical and physical forces can break the fossils into small, unrecognisable pieces before they are uncovered at the surface. The Age of Dinosaurs dig around the Elliot site has since yielded the scattered remains of small theropods, the first such skeletal remains from these deposits. A whole dinosaur ecosystem, from the smallest plant eaters to large predators, called the shores of the inland sea home. So far, the remains of conifer cones and scales, cycads, ferns, angiosperms (flowering plants), ginkgoes (maiden hair trees), and horsetails (like modern scouring rushes) have been found. Some of the conifer remains are almost identicle to the Wollemi pine, which still exists in isolated pockets. It is thought that the area was an open floodplain dominated by scattered trees, a transitional forest between seed-fern dominated plants and flowering plants. Freshwater bivalves have also been found at the site, which resemble modern freshwater mussels. They were preserved in the same position as they would have been in life, indicating they were covered up quickly by sediments that smothered them to death. The same flooding event that covered up and killed the mussels probably also covered Elliot's body, preserving it so that it could become fossilised. Only a few kilometres from the Elliot site is another scattering of surface fossils, known as the Lungfish Site. The remains of lungfish, small sharks, more mussel, and scattered dinosaur material have been found here. The large number of aquatic animals in the area attests to the large annual rainfall, which has been estimated at a metre or more a year. The landscape was probably dotted with lakes and bisected by rivers as the water headed for the nearby sea.

WiradjuriWiradjuri—the first inhabitants of the Bathurst district, having settled there about 40,000 years ago. Wiradjuri country extends from the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range near Lithgow and is bounded by the three rivers: Macquarie (Wambool), Lachlan (Kalari) and the Murrumbidgee. It was a land described by early European explorers as fertile, abundant in fish and game. Wiradjuri people had their own language and a rich culture of stories and songs. Carved trees that were used to mark graves are an important feature of old Wiradjuri culture. An example of one of these trees can be seen in the Bathurst Museum, but many have now been destroyed by land clearing and bushfires. Another important feature of the old Wiradjuri was their handsome cloaks made from the fur of many possums stitched together. When Governor Macquarie visited Bathurst in 1815 he was presented with such a cloak by a Wiradjuri man.

wirilda wattle—the shrub or small tree Acacia retinodes of southern Australia, cultivated as an ornamental.

wirra—a small, cup-like digging scoop, traditionally made of hardwood.

wirrah—either of two marine fish of rocky reefs of the genus Acanthistius, A. ocellatus of SE Australia and A. serratus of SW Australia.

wirrang—rock wallaby.

Wiseman's Ferry—an early port on the Hawkesbury River. By 1794, grain and other crops were delivered by ferry to the colony in Sydney Town. Located on the old Northern Road, 85km from the centre of Sydney.

wish (a person) joy of—be gladly rid of (what that person has to deal with).

wish-wash—1. a weak or watery drink. 2. insipid talk or writing.

witarna—bull roarer.

witchetty grubwitchetty grub—the caterpillar of the cossid moth, which lives inside and feeds on the stems and roots of the wattle, Acacia ligulata. The wood-eating larva or pupa bores into the roots of the tree, where it matures into a caterpillar. These are harvested by digging and chopping up the roots, and eaten raw by Aborigines. The black cockatoo also feeds on the wood-boring larvae, and predation by yellow-tailed black cockatoos has caused losses in plantations of Eucalyptus grandis in north coastal New South Wales. From the Aboriginal witjuti.

within a bull's roar—anywhere near to or approaching: e.g., He didn't come within a bull's roar of winning.

within cooee—1. in easy reach of; nearby. 2. close to finishing a project or achieving an aim or goal.

Witjira National Park—encompasses 776,900ha of gibber plains, saltpans, flat-topped mesas, and mound springs that rise from the Great Artesian Basin. The main feature of the park is the Dalhousie Mound Springs, which is the largest and most active artesian spring in Australia. The flow of water in the Dalhousie main pool alone is approximately 220 litres per second, which sustains an impressive permanent wetland in this desert landscape. The park is managed jointly the by the Lower Southern Arrernte, Wangkangurru, Arabunna and Luritja people and the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage. Together, they provide protection and rehabilitation for more than 70 thermal springs in the Dalhousie Springs complex. On the gibber plains, cinnamon quail, thrush and gibber birds can be seen, while brolgas, darters and ibis can be seen at the mound springs. Located 150km north of Oodnadatta, on the western edge of the Simpson Desert in the far north of South Australia.

wobbegongwobbegongOrectolobus ornatus occurs along the east coast from southern Queensland through to Western Australia, including Tasmania. They inhabit shallow, inshore waters (less than 100 metres deep) where rock and weed are prominent. The head and body are various shades of brown forming mottled patterns. The Wobbegong has wormlike projections around its mouth which it uses to lure prey. They are ambushers, using camouflage and great patience, then engulfing their prey in one mouthful using their long, sharp, pointed teeth. Wobbegong sharks can become aggressive if disturbed, and are able to reach back and bite a hand holding their tail. Also known as carpet shark.

wobbly—wallaby.

wodgil scrub—a vegetation community of tall, shrubby growth dominated by acacia plants, especially Acacia neurophylla.

Wodi Wodi—a sub-group of the Dharawal nation that includes Aboriginal tribes from Wollongong to Shoalhaven, on the eastern coast of NSW. The term "Wodi Wodi" has became accepted as the name of the Aboriginal people of the region, and the name of their language.

Woewurrong—variant spelling of Woiworung.

wog—1. influenza, a cold or similar disease or illness. 2. (derog.) an Italian, Greek, Arab or person of similar Mediterranean or Middle Eastern extraction. 3. small insect, bug. 4. a germ.

Wogait—an Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory.

WoiworungWoiworung—an Aboriginal language group who occupied 12,000sq km in Victoria. It is estimated that there were about 1700 of them divided into four clans in the years before European settlement. For most of the year, the Woiworung lived in groups of between twenty and fifty people. They assembled as a clan or larger group only a few times a year to have celebrations or conduct business. Food resources did not allow large gatherings too often or for too long. In summer they went to the coast and river flats. In winter, they sheltered from the wind and rain by moving to the hills. Heads of families carefully planned group moves according to the season. Each day was a food quest: hunting kangaroos, emus and possums, catching fish and eels and gathering edible plants. On good days when there was plenty of food, groups spent about four hours collecting and preparing food. The rest of the day was spent talking, sleeping and storytelling. The Woiworung had a religious relationship to their land, participating in corroborees and sacred ceremonies on Merri Creek. They played games too—wrestling, throwing boomerangs and playing mamgrook, a two-sided ball game, with the ball made of rolled possum skin tied up with kangaroo sinew which was kicked high in the air. Merri Creek was a meeting place for the Woiworung and three other cultural language groups. There was enough food for up to a thousand people for several weeks. The meetings were for social contact, ceremonies, marriage, deciding issues in tribal law and trading axe heads, reed spears and possum skin cloaks. The settlement of the area around Melbourne in the 1830s was a disaster for the Woiworung. The Aborigines died from Western diseases—smallpox, fever, ulcers, syphilis and dysentery. The growth of the white population and building of houses and towns meant that bird and animal life moved north because the land was taken over by sheep and cattle. Sheep ate the plants and trampled food and water resources. Lack of food, accidents, alcohol and violent incidents with white people killed many. Fewer babies were born because the Woiworung were so fearful—their country was theirs no longer. William Thomas was appointed Protector of Aborigines for Melbourne and Western Port in 1839. His job was to protect, help and support Aborigines. Thomas provided the first detailed census of the Woiworung in November 1839. The total number was 209.

wolf spider—any ground dwelling spider of the family Lycosidae, found all over Australia, it lives in leaf litter and burrows and hunts rather than traps its prey.

wollamai—the marine fish Chrysophrys auratus, a snapper.

Wollemi National Park—possibly the most important aspect of Wollemi National Park is that it protects, permanently, the largest remaining forested wilderness in NSW, including the Colo-Capertee river system, used extensively with the surrounding bushland for hardy recreation activities. The Colo River and its gorge is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular in Australia. Special features of interest include the Capertee Valley, historic ruins at Newnes and the Glow Worm Tunnel. The park, commissioned in 1979, sits just to the north-west of Sydney adjoining Blue Mountains National Park to the south and Putty Road to the east, stretching north almost to Muswellbrook.

Wollemi pineWollemi pineWollemia nobilis, a relict tree of the family Araucariaceae. Wollemi is a new, monotypic genus, falling between the two previously known living conifer genera, Agathis and Araucaria. The last fossil record of the Wollemi pine is dated at about two million years ago, and so the tree was thought to be extinct. But in September 1994 David Noble, an officer with the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, discovered some trees he didn’t recognise in a deep, narrow canyon of the rugged Wollemi National Park, a largely undisturbed wilderness area just 150km from Sydney. There are 23 mature and 16 juvenile trees growing in two stands located close to each other, and it is thought that this is all that remains of Wollemia nobilis. The Wollemi pine is a southern conifer reaching 35m in height, with a trunk diameter of around 1m. The highly dissected leaves range in colour from a pale green when young to a deeper green at maturity, and the trunk is covered in knobbly, spongy bark. The trees are dichotomous, having both male and female cones on the one plant. All cones are terminal, with the male cones growing lower down on the tree. The seeds are dark brown and winged. This tree has been called a "living fossil" because of its close resemblance and relatedness to other fossilised trees that date back to the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods of 100 million years ago. Its closest living relatives are the kauri, Norfolk Island, hoop, bunya bunya and monkey puzzle pines.

Wollongong—In 1815 Charles Throsby and party hacked a track from Liverpool to the Illawarra escarpment and down through an area near Bulli Pass to confirm what his Aboriginal guides had told him: that here was excellent pasturage. He soon returned with his livestock and set up the first stockman's hut at what is now the corner of Smith and Harbour Streets, Wollongong. Today, with a population of over 250 000, it is the third-largest city in New South Wales and the tenth-largest in Australia.

Wollumbin—the Aboriginal name for Mount Warning, meaning 'fighting chief of the mountains', ands is sacred to the Bundjalung people. Wollumbin is the Warrior Chief of the mountain, in the Bundjalung Dreamtime story, and the spirits of the mountains were warriors. Thunder and lightning are ascribed to their ongoing battles, and the wounds they received in past battles are evident in the scars on the mountainside. Looking toward Wollumbin from the north, the face of the Warrior Chief can be discerned in outline of the mountain. Located in the Tweed Valley of NSW, this site was named Mount Warning by Captain Cook.

Wollumbin ForestWollumbin Forest—lies on the slopes of an extinct volcano and is a living museum. It is the last refuge of ancient rainforest from a time when Australia was part of the pre-historic super-continent, Gondwanaland. For Aboriginal people throughout Australia, Wollumbin Forest is part of the sacred mountain called Wollumbin, and therefore is of considerable spiritual and cultural significance. For scientists, this area contains keys to origins of life itself. It represents one of Australia's main centres of bio-diversity and is so unique that it supports an ecosystem unto itself—no other forest of its kind exists anywhere in the world.

woman's business—(in Aboriginal English) rituals open only to women.

wombatVombatidae and Lasiorhinus, medium-to-large-sized animals (19kg -39kg), with a stocky body, short limbs, small ears and a very short tail. The head is compactly built and is used in constructing tunnels. The limbs are especially powerfully, with short, broad feet and strong, flat claws. They build impressive burrow systems with many burrows, some of which exceed 20m in length. Although they are marsupials, wombats have a remarkably rodent-like skull. They have a single pair of incisors, heavily built and rodent-like in form—the incisors have enamel on anterior and lateral surfaces only. The pouch of wombats is well developed but is oriented so that it opens to the rear, rather than forward, as is more usual in marsupials. The embryo forms an allantoic placenta, as is true of at least some peramelids and koalas, but not other marsupials. Wombats are strictly herbivorous grazers; they have a simple stomach and a short, broad cecum. Koalas and wombats are probably each other's closest relatives. Some of the characteristics they share include: pouch opening to rear, vestigial tail, presence of a peculiar glandular patch in the stomach, formation of a placenta, loss of some premolars and details of muscle morphology. A close relationship has also been suggested by molecular studies. The northern hairy-nosed wombat is a severely endangered species, and the other types—the southern hairy-nosed wombat and the coarse-haired wombat, are at risk as well. Wombats are really much nicer creatures than koalas (too irritable when not drugged up on eucalyptus) and kangaroos (too stupid, and too tiring to watch). 2. a slow or stupid person.

wombat berry—the climbing vine Eustrephus latifolius, bearing a globular orange berry and cultivated as an ornamental.

wombat hole—the burrow made by a wombat.

Wombat State ForestWombat State Forest—the striking feature of this area is the Lerderderg Gorge, a 300m-deep gorge that stretches south to the plains of Bacchus Marsh. The Wombat State Forest and adjoining Lerderderg State Park offer enthusiasts numerous 4WD tracks and forestry roads, some of which are difficult with steep gradients and rocky sections. There are numerous picnic spots throughout the forest to enjoy during a break. This forest is still actively logged, so watch for logging trucks and motorcyclists who take trail bikes along these popular tracks. Located less than one hour's drive from Melbourne, Victoria.

Wombeyan Caves—a network of over 230 limestone caverns, many of which are open to the public. Located in Wombeyan, 176km south-west of Sydney in the Southern Highlands. The name is of Aboriginal origin meaning 'grassy flats between two mountains'. Guided tours and caving adventures are available.

women's camp/country—(in Aboriginal English) a place open only to women.

Women's Royal Australian Naval ServiceWomen's Royal Australian Naval Service—(WRANS) was initially established with 14 females trained as wireless telegraphists. On 1 October 1942 they were sworn into the Navy as enlisted personnel with enlisted status. Four months later the number was increased to 1000 but never exceeded 3000 women enlisted at one time. In the WRANS women worked as telegraphists; coders; writers (typists and clerks); transports drivers; cars drivers; office orderlies; dental mechanics; cooks; sickberth attendants; stewardesses; press relations officer (which included escorting the press to sea on trials); boarding officer; almoners; dome teacher operators (visual aids used for instruction and entertainment); education officers; vocational guidance; sea transport officers; air liaison officer (moving RAN officers and ratings to all parts of the globe). There were harbour messengers; an accountant officer; supply assistants; medical, clothing and general stores; postmaster; postal clerk (including delivering mail to ships in port and on anchor); watch keepers. There were WRANS working as translation interpretors in the Allied Translation Section of General MacArthur's main 'Order of Battle'; some worked on the degaussing range (assessing the magnetic attraction of vessels as they crossed the degaussing range); they worked in ciphers; visual signalling; signals and communications; radio telegraphy plotting; and as messengers. Others were with the Radar Counter-measure, Allied Intelligence Bureau and Censorship Officers. They were at the Gunnery School, small arms range; and one handled all safe hand mail for the port of Sydney, while yet another corrected and issued charts (to both merchant and naval ship's masters), and one was Assistant to the Staff Officer (Operations) Brisbane and another to the Director of Victualling. Many WRANS were engaged on technical duties of a secret nature, working long hours under exacting conditions. For many, this meant absolute silence about their work, even after demobilisation, while the end of the war meant that others were released from secrecy. While the most senior men were adamant that WRANS would not work as mechanics, they did indeed work in ordnance artificers' workshops. Several women wore WRANS uniform merely for convenience or safety against the event of their being discovered and, as a civilian, being treated as a spy. The last wartime WRAN was discharged in 1948 when the WRANS were disbanded, but the service was reconstituted in 1951. By 1959 the WRANS were part of the Permanent Naval Forces, but Government policy of the day that service-women not be employed in combat duties, excluded members of the WRANS from seagoing employment. In 1985 women became fully integrated into the Royal Australian Navy and thus the WRANS were disbanded by an Act of Parliament.

womma—1. the python Aspidites ramsayi of arid Australia. 2. a honey ant of any of several genera, able to store a honey-like liquid in its abdomen.

wompoo fruit-dovewompoo fruit-dovePtilinopus magnificus, a large dove distinguished by a rich purple throat, chest and upper belly, and yellow lower belly. It has mostly green underparts, with a paler grey head and a conspicuous yellow wing-bar. It is perhaps the most beautiful of all the doves found in Australia, and both sexes are similar in plumage. The call is a deep, resonant wollack-a-woo and, occasionally, a more abrupt boo. It favours a rainforest habitat, and birds are rarely seen in other areas. They may form large feeding flocks where food is plentiful, and the birds acrobatically pluck the fruit from trees and vines high up in the canopy area. The birds do not travel large distances, but move around in small, localised areas in search of fruit-bearing trees, feeding on a variety of fruits. Australia has three discrete populations along the east coast: from central eastern New South Wales to central eastern Queensland; north-eastern Queensland; and northern Cape York Peninsula. This species also occurs in New Guinea. Also known as magnificent fruit-dove, purple-breasted fruit-dove, purple-bellied pigeon, woompoo pigeon.

won't have a bar of—have nothing to do with; refuse to associate oneself with: e.g., He won't have a bar of gambling.

Wonambi Fossil Centre—displays fossil remains of megafauna and a walk-through diorama with life-sized models of these extinct animals in their ancient habitats. The interpretive centre also illustrates how the Naracoorte Caves acted as pitfall traps, dens and roosts for more than 500,000 years, leading to the vast accumulation of skeletal remains of reptiles, birds and mammals. With over 100 species of vertebrate animals found in the fossil deposits at Naracoorte to date, many of which are now extinct, there are also fossil remains of species still living today, although they are no longer found in south-eastern Australia. The centre was named after Wonambi naracoortensis, which was in turn is named for the Aboriginal Rainbow Serpent. The Flinders University Gallery has information panels depicting the various sciences studied at Naracoorte, and touch screen computers to answer questions relating to the Wonambi Fossil Centre and the fossils of Naracoorte Caves. The Wonambi Fossil Centre is located within the Naracoorte Caves National Park.

Wonambi naracoortensisWonambi naracoortensis—a large, prehistoric, non-venomous snake which grew to a length of five to six metres and killed its prey by constriction. Its skull was comparatively small and it would have taken small to medium sized prey, mostly mammals. Scientists recognised early that Wonambi was related to the more ancient and even larger extinct madtsoiid snakes which had been found in the fossil record of South America and Africa. More remains of madtsoiids have since been found in Australia, notably at Riversleigh in Queensland, including a smaller version of Wonambi. Fossilised remains of madtsoiid snakes have now been found on nearly every continent that once was part of the supercontinent, Gondwana. They became extinct on all other continents around 55 million years ago, but continued to diversify in Australia. Wonambi naracoortensis was the last of this ancient lineage and died out within the last 50,000 years. Wonambi is an Aboriginal word for the Rainbow Serpent. The species name naracoortensis reflects that it was first described from fossils found at Naracoorte.

wonga-wonga pigeon—the ground-feeding grey and white pigeon Leucosarcia melanoleuca of eastern mainland Australia.

wonga-wonga vinePandorea pandorana, a vigorous, woody climber that will ascend into the rainforest canopy. White, cream (fern gully/Kingaroy), yellow (rainforest), pink (SE Queensland) or brown (tropical rainforests) bell-shaped flowers from July to October. Oblong seed capsules up to 8cm long from October to February. Pandorea is after the Greek goddess Pandora "the name of the first mortal woman, on whom all the gods bestowed gifts" (Robinson). Found from fern gullies to open forest in all eastern states, SA, WA and Lord Howe Island.

WongaibonWongaibon - they were referred to as "station blacks" by the squatter graziers of the area. They were in fact members of the Wongaibon tribe but known as the Nygampaa people, as this was the name of the dialect they spoke. The year was 1933, the country at that time was well into the longest drought in the history of NSW, with all the river and creek systems having dried up, thus forcing the tribal people to the man-made tanks and dams for supply of water, much to the annoyance of the graziers. For this and other reasons political pressure from pastoralists in the region was applied, which resulted in the rounding up of all Aboriginal people not employed on sheep stations at the time, and the subsequent transportation of these people to the hastily constructed mission reserve at Menindee on the banks of the Darling River. The Menindee mission station was administed by the NSW Aboriginal Protection Board, which eventually shut down the facility due to substandard living conditions and mismanagement which had resulted in an unacceptable death toll over a ten-year period. The Board subsequently resettled the Wongaibon people at a new and better-sited mission station named Murrin Bridge, near the township of Lake Cargelligo in the South West region of NSW. This resettlement took place two years after the end of the Second World War in 1947. The people were housed in ex military barrack-style accommodation, with the entire reserve surrounded by a thre-metre-high chain link and barbed wire fence, remnants of which can still be seen.

wongi—1. an Aborigine from the vicinity of Kalgoorlie. 2. a talk, a chat.

WongkanguruWongkanguru—an Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory and South Australia. The Wongkanguru people lived in the Simpson Desert, ranging over the southern desert in good seasons and falling back on a series of native wells when the country dried out. Tradition indicates that the Wongkanguru were displaced south by the Wongkamala, and themselves forced the Dieri to shift southward. The Wongkanguru left the desert voluntarily in 1901 and walked south to the Bethesda Lutheran Mission at Killalpaninna.

Wonguri-Mandjikai—an Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory.

wonk—a homosexual man.

Wonkanguri—an Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory and South Australia.

wonky—1. shaky; unsteady; unreliable; unsound. 2. not well; ill. 3. broken; out-of-order.

wood—(sport) the drop on; dominance over; a history of success against someone, a team etc.

wood duck—1. a customer who is believed to have little likelihood of making a purchase—especially at a car salesyard. 2. naive customer who is easily duped, fooled, conned.

wood-and-water joey—an unskilled labourer who performs the menial tasks of an establishment.

wooden spoon—1. the (fictitious) prize awarded for coming last or doing the worst. 2. kitchen spoon that is used to intimidate, subdue a naughty child.

woodlandwoodland—is distinguished from forests by the spacing and shape of its trees. Forest trees have relatively small crowns, whereas those in woodlands often have more than half their height as crown and less than half as trunk. Before European settlement, grassy box woodlands covered millions of hectares between southern Queensland and northern Victoria. The woodlands were made up of a number of different eucalypt species, including yellow box, grey box, and white box with an understorey of kangaroo grass, snow grass, wallaby grasses and abundant wild flowers such as yam daisies and chocolate lilies.

Woods/Woodsmen—Collingwood VFL football team.

woody weeds—encroachment of woody weeds is a major problem facing graziers in semi-arid rangelands, as stock find the weeds unpalatable. New South Wales Agriculture estimates that 20 million ha (or approximately 25% of New South Wales) is affected by, or liable to, encroachment by woody weeds. Most woody weeds are native plants whose areal extent has increased because of inappropriate land management practices. Encroachment of woody weeds results in lower carrying capacities, reduced reproductive performance of livestock, and increased costs of managing livestock. Woody weeds prevent pasture regrowth, rendering the land unproductive and making stock mustering difficult. It is estimated to cost graziers approximately $50-$100 million annually in lost production. The CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology is developing integrated control techniques using fire and chemical treatment.

woofter—1. (rhyming slang) poofter. 2. a dog.

wool away!—a shearer's call to the picker-up requesting the clearing away of a newly shorn fleece.

wool barber—a shearer.

wool blind—(of a sheep) having wool growing over the eyes.

wool cheque—the amount received from the sale of a season's wool.

wool clip—the annual wool production of a district.

wool man—a sheep-farmer.

wool princess—refers to the privileged daughters of the landed "gentry" of Australia, who largely built their wealth in wool from huge sheep stations.

wool scourwool scour—a shed where wool is washed.

wool shed—a shearing shed.

wool table—the table on which a shorn fleece is processed.

wool-classer—one who grades fleeces.

wool-fat—lanolin.

wool-stapler

wool-fell—the skin of a sheep etc with the fleece still on.

wool-gathering—absent-mindedness; day-dreaming; unrealistic thoughts.

wool-grower—a breeder of sheep for wool.

wool-sorter's disease—anthrax.

wool-stapler—a person who grades wool.

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