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 Woi-wurrung and Wadawurrung people are acknowledged as the Traditional Owners of this land and we offer our respect to their Elders past and present.
The Registered Aboriginal Parties have kindly provided the following statements as a Welcome to Country and an introduction to this Regional Catchment Strategy.
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
Wominjeka yearmann kondee biik Wurundjeri balluk – Welcome to the land of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people!
We take our name from the Woi-wurrung word for Manna Gum, ‘wurun’ which is common along the ‘Birrarung’ (Yarra River) and other waterways of Wurundjeri Country, and the Woi-wurrung word for the grub which is found in or near the tree, ‘djeri’. (altered from website)
We acknowledge and pay our respects to our Ancestors, including all Elders, past, present, and emerging leaders of the community who have cared for Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country, and who continue to do so today and into the future.
For the Wurundjeri community the natural world is also a cultural world; therefore, the Wurundjeri people have a special interest in preserving not just their cultural objects, but the natural landscapes of cultural importance. The acknowledgement of broader attributes of the landscape as cultural values that require protection (encompassing, among other things, a variety of landforms, ecological niche,s and habitats as well as continuing cultural practices and archaeological material) is essential to the identity and wellbeing of the Wurundjeri people.
Now and into the future we continue to use our cultural knowledge to manage Country and teaching the next Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung generation about Bunjil’s Lore. There is also a commitment to working with others who now share Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country so we can all care and respect Country. We are actively working with a broad range of partners to heal and manage Country using traditional and modern knowledge systems.
Our message is that Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people have a deep understanding and connection to this land that should be respected and valued.
We welcome you to our Country and hope you will care for it as we do, as we carry the obligation from our Ancestors to ensure that Country is healthy and its resources are there for those who now reside here and future generations.
The Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Corporation Elders and Community have been working with Melbourne Water to provide feedback on the Regional Catchment Strategy and its goals and targets. The Corporation values the work by Melbourne Water and gives in-principle support for the RCS targets.
For more information visit 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.