This region is the Country of the Bunurong, Wurundjeri and Wadawurrung people. They have lived in and been connected to the land, water, plants and animals of this area for many thousands of years.
The Bunurong, Wurundjeri and Wadawurrung people are acknowledged as the Traditional Owners of this land and we offer our respect to their Elders past and present.
Bunurong and Wadawurrung Elders have kindly provided the following statements as a Welcome to Country and an introduction to this Regional Catchment Strategy. A similar statement is proposed to be included from Wurundjeri Elders.
Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
We pay our deepest respects to our Ancestors and our Elders past and present who have nurtured and cared for Bunurong Country for tens of thousands of years. We also pay our respects to the lands, waters, flora and fauna of our beautiful Country.
The Bunurong Land Council represents the Traditional Owners and custodians of lands on the Mornington Peninsula, Westernport and part of south-west Gippsland. We are proud members of the Kulin Nation.
Over 1,000 generations of our people have been here before us. There are many sites on Country that show us how our Ancestors interacted with their environment and how that interaction changed over time. We regard all evidence of our people’s occupation as sacred.
Today, we continue to preserve and protect the lands and waterways of our Ancestors, their sacred places, traditional ecological knowledge, cultural practices and stories.
We encourage everyone to nurture and care for this land as we do and to protect the rivers and creeks because they are the blood of this land.
The Bunurong support this Regional Catchment Strategy that aims to protect the environment of this land and bring people together to help care for this Country.
For more information, visit the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation.
Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
This section is in preparation in collaboration with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.
Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation
Comugeen budj-o thalikiyu kin bil beng-ordi-ngadak. Ngarrwabil, boron, guli, bagurrk. Comugeen budj-o bengadak ngarr-uk dja, ngubiyt, weagoon gobata gupma wurring-wurring baap beng-ordi-nganak, djarrima murrup-nhuk begadak.
We deeply respect our People of the past. Our Elders, children, men, women. We deeply respect their knowledge of Country, water, life, their care of the traditions and of each other, we stand with their spirit.
Wadawurrung People have been in contact with and caring for the land within the western part of the Port Phillip and Western Port region for generations immemorial.
The Wadawurrung vision is Wunggurrwil gupma bengadak Wadawurrung wurring-wurring baap dja – all people working together to make Wadawurrung Country and Culture strong.
Wadawurrung People are determined to see their unique cultural heritage protected and respected. Wadawurrung aims to restore Traditional knowledge and authority over the management of Wadawurrung Country for the betterment of those living on, prospering from and/or simply enjoying its land, waterways and coastal areas.
The Wadawurrung support this Regional Catchment Strategy as a collaborative approach to environmental management on a regional scale, in keeping with traditional land management practice where people worked together for common goals in caring for Country.
For more information, visit the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.