More than 75 people – including 35 students from Yea’s Sacred Heart Primary School – attended the event which focused on recognising local Indigenous history and culture.
Mayor of Murrindindi Shire Council Charlie Bisset said the event was a momentous occasion as it was the first formal reconciliation event held in the Shire.
“A huge thanks goes to the Y Water Discovery Centre Inc for initiating such an important event and providing a great venue for it to happen in.
“Council acknowledges the Taungurung and Wurundjeri peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands now called Murrindindi Shire. We have been actively taking steps to recognise and celebrate local Indigenous history and culture for some time, and we continue to do so with allocations in the Draft Budget 2018-19.
“We have set aside funds to install flagpoles at each of our offices in Alexandra, Kinglake and Yea which will display the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags as well as the Australian flag. Earlier this year we installed signs at each of our Council offices and libraries to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which they are located. In addition, we will be installing a series of Indigenous recognition signs at the entry points to our Shire. We believe these are important steps toward equal recognition of Indigenous people, culture and history in our national story and identity,” Cr Bisset said.
“We are committed to building a strong partnership with Aboriginal communities and feel that learning about past and present Indigenous culture is an essential part of this. We’re very lucky to have had Aunty Lee Healy presenting Indigenous story time at our library in Alexandra – the stories told have provided our community with a wonderful opportunity to close the understanding gap,” Cr Bisset said.
“So too is the Taungurung Language Resource Kit, which is the result of a joint project between the Taungurung Clans, Murrindindi Shire Council, the Murrindindi Children’s Network, More Murals, Taungurung artist Mick Harding and other community members who provided their time and skills. We also received generous support from the Foundation of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies, this resulted in a great resource which offers children the opportunity to learn the Taungurung language.
“Last year we also successfully applied for a Victorian Local History Grant to auspice the writing of a cultural memoir of Taungurung Elder Uncle Roy (who sadly passed away recently). Author Dr Jennifer Jones is at work on this project now, and we believe it will make a great contribution to all those who seek to learn more about the Taungurung Clan.
“Excitingly, Council has also just announced TCAC as a recipient of a Business and Tourism Innovation Grant. Under the Events Kickstarter funding stream, TCAC will host two new events showcasing local Indigenous culture.
“This reconciliation event was just the first step in what we know will be a close and constructive relationship with our Indigenous community. We are confident our shared future will be bright”, Cr Bisset added.
Y Water Discovery Centre Inc Chairman David Anderson said it was an honour for the Centre to host the event.
“The Y Water Discovery Centre Inc is proud to have hosted this event to mark National Reconciliation Week in partnership with the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and Murrindindi Shire Council. A real highlight of the day was TCAC Cultural Events Organiser and Researcher Angela ten Buuren’s (nee Franklin) presentation on the history of her family and the Taungurung peoples in Murrindindi Shire.
“We invite the wider community to visit the Centre and learn more about the history and culture of the Taungurung people. The Y Water Discovery Centre’s interactive displays and indigenous garden are a great place to start learning, and why not join in the celebrations for NAIDOC Week in July and Wumindjika Weekend in November,” Mr Anderson said.