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There has long been a perception, fuelled by newspaper reports and images of groups of local Aborigines standing around outside the pubs in the main street, that the town is a hotbed of violence, dysfunctional behaviour and "problems".
It is not uncommon to hear, in White Cliffs, Cobar or Broken Hill, people declaring that they drove through Wilcannia and did not stop because it looked so dangerous.
^ TOP Wilcannia reputedly means "a gap in the bank where the flood waters escape" in the Barkindji language of the local Aborigines.A suitably rural joke about the unfairness of life for the farmer.Knox & Downs Store (1890) Once the ultimate country general store, the Knox & Downs Store, diagonally opposite the Post Office, was where locals and travellers could buy literally anything.After all, many of them are Barkindji people who have been living in this region for 40 000 years.Wilcannia is located 948 km north west of Sydney via the Great Western, Mitchell and Barrier Highways.
Sheep were often unwilling to cross the bridge and locals made a lucrative income by hiring out poddy lambs or pet sheep to lead the herd across.