why is this important?

Victoria is home to some of the oldest known sites of Aboriginal occupation in Australia. These precious cultural heritage sites include agricultural sites, stone dwellings, rock art, stone arrangements, earth rings, and scar trees. The landscape is also scarred with the impacts of colonisation such as massacre sites and missions, and significant cultural sites that have been disrupted by colonisation.

Cultural heritage helps shape identity and is fundamental to the wellbeing of communities, providing connection across generations. Local councils play a significant role in promoting respect for cultural heritage. Fostering an environment of respect around cultural heritage encourages the wider community to take pride in the rich and extensive heritage of municipal areas. Acknowledging sites of cultural importance is a critical step in truth-telling about our shared history. Protecting and nurturing sites of this significant history is an important way for councils to value, promote, and build community awareness about the cultural heritage of their municipalities and to demonstrate meaningful support for reconciliation. Working with Traditional Owners on the protection and rehabilitation of cultural heritage sites not only strengthens a council’s relationship with their local community, but also creates the space for First Peoples and for Country to heal.

Recommended Strategies

nmonee

Case Studies

The Babepal Paen-mirring Ceremonial Rock Circle was developed at Five Mile Creek Reserve, Essendon to recognise a registered site of Aboriginal significance and protect artefacts scattered at the site. Moonee Valley City Council engaged the Wurundjeri Land Council and the Wurundjeri Narrap team who suggested establishing the site as a meeting place for the use of the whole community. The site was named Babepal Paen-mirring, meaning ‘Mother’s tear’ in Woi wurrung, with large rocks placed in the shape of an eye.

As part of the restoration of the site, native plants including Lomandra, Dianella, Murnong and native grasses were reintroduced to provide future opportunities for activities including weaving, harvesting traditional foods of the area, and cultural burning.

The site is an important part of a broader approach to educate the community about the significance of this area to the Wurundjeri People, and hold ceremonies and demonstrations of Wurundjeri life.

Key Contacts

Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council

Report and protect a possible Aboriginal place or object | First Peoples - State Relations

Cultural Heritage Management Plans | First Peoples - State Relations

Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register | First Peoples - State Relations

links & resources

Aboriginal Heritage Act (2006) | Victorian Legislation

Aboriginal Heritage Regulations (2018) | Victorian Legislation

Registered Aboriginal Parties | Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council

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