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Indigenous history

Acknowledgment of Country

Maroondah City Council, in the spirit of reconciliation, acknowledges that we are meeting on the Land for which the Wurundjeri people have been custodians for many centuries, and on Land which the Indigenous Australians have performed age old ceremonies.

We accept, respect and have shared with the Wurundjeri people in their customs of welcome.

The Wurundjeri people support the coming together of all people, respecting their individuality, to focus on a unified and cohesive nation.

The Wurundjeri people

The first people that occupied the Melbourne area prior to European colonisation were the Woiwurrung language group, specifically the Wurundjeri people.  The territory of the Wurundjeri lies within the inner city of Melbourne and extends north of the Great Dividing Ranges, east to Mt Baw Baw, south to Mordialloc Creek and west to Werribee River.

The Yarra River was central to the Wurundjeri people as it provided a variety of foods such as eels and fish.  Along its fertile banks the numerous variety of native animals and plants would be found.

Significant sites

There are a number of identified significant sites, in particular those found near the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers and the Merri Creek.  A place of great gathering occurred at the Bolin Bolin Billabong in Bulleen where sacred and social interaction between the clans would take place. 

The Wurundjeri would also gather with other members of the Kulin.

Other places of significance for the Wurundjeri people are:

  • Coranderrk Mission Station (Healesville) 
  • Pound Bend (Templestowe/Doncaster) 
  • Mt William Aboriginal Stone Axe Quarry (near Lancefield) 
  • Dights Falls area (Collingwood) 
  • Heide Scarred Tree (Templestowe) 
  • The Sunbury Rings (Sunbury) 

William Barak

Featuring prominently in the Wurundjeri story is William Barak, the last traditional great Ngurungaeta or leader of the clan, who witnessed the signing of the ‘treaty’ between Woiwurrung and Boonerwrung Elders and John Batman. The Ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri clan at the time was his father Bebejern, from whom Barak inherited the title.

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