Community members are invited to take a virtual tour of significant locations on Wadawurrung Country, as part of the City’s celebrations for NAIDOC Week this year.
This will be the second year of the NAIDOC Week virtual trail, which is presented in partnership with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative.
Twenty-three significant locations are included in the trail, with three added this year.
Each location on the tour includes stunning photography and a description of the importance and significance of the location, allowing community members to learn more about Wadawurrung Country and the history and culture of Traditional Owners.
One of the new locations encourages community members to view the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation’s Healthy Country Plan video, which tells of the collective dream of a healthier future for Wadawurrung people and Country.
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said it was exciting to see the virtual tour expand for its second year.
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme asks us all to recognise, protect and maintain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s culture and heritage, which goes back thousands of generations.
I encourage community members to look through the virtual trail to gain an understanding of the history and culture of Wadawurrung people and Country and to consider how we can all contribute further to reconciliation, promote understanding and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our community.
The virtual tour complements this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, Heal Country!, which calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Along with the virtual trail, the City is recognising NAIDOC Week, which runs from 4 to 11 July, in the following ways:
- An artist talk at the National Wool Museum at 12pm on Thursday 8 July with proud Wadawurrung woman, Dr Deanne Gilson, taking participants on a journey to hear about her art practice and how she uses traditional cultural knowledge to inform new contemporary artworks;
- Digital projections return to City Hall and the Barwon Water forecourt from 6.00pm to 11.00pm from Friday 2 July to Sunday 11 July. The display will feature artwork by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which has been developed through the Torch and animated by multi-media artist Matt Bonner;
- Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags will fly together at City Hall for the duration of the week; and
- Banners featuring artwork by Billy-Jay O’Toole, artist and Wadawurrung Traditional Owner, will be flown around the region.
Paul Davis, CEO Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, shared the importance of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme.
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme, “Heal Country”, is a call for greater protection of land, water, sacred sites and cultural heritage.
For Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, this can be achieved in many ways such as simply allowing Wadawurrung Traditional Owners safe and respectful access to places of significance to manage and preserve their cultural heritage.
Celebrating NAIDOC Week through a public community activity is one of many actions the City is taking to further reconciliation in the community and strengthen relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader community.
The City recently adopted the use of Traditional Place names and will use Wadawurrung Country in addresses to acknowledge Wadawurrung people as the Traditional Owners of this land and waterways. The action will begin to be rolled out in digital assets in the coming days and weeks and in physical resources going forward.
The First Nations Cultural Heritage Grant was also recently made available for the first time for projects that preserve, protect and renew Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Applications for the grants program, which will have two rounds of $100,000 each in 2021-22, can be made until Friday 20 August 2021 via the grants page.
Find more information on NAIDOC Week celebrations being held in the region.