Reconciliation Action Plan - Wadawurrung Aboriginal history

We acknowledge our Ancestors and our Elders past and present. We acknowledge Bunjil our Creator Spirit of our beautiful Country and thank Him for continuing to watch over Country today and beyond.

We acknowledge that our Ancestors traditionally nurtured and cared for Wadawurrung Country for tens of thousands of years and in return the Country cared for them with healthy nourished land and water providing a sustainable life.

We acknowledge the hardships, the destruction, disrespect and the harm our Wadawurrung Ancestors endured following colonisation. These devastating impacts are still evident and felt today within the Spirit of our bloodline, and harshly felt on Country, with destruction to our Mother Earth waterways, cultural values and songlines connected to our Country.

The fact that Wadawurrung People and Culture have managed to survive and thrive demonstrates enormous inner Spirit, connection to Country, strength, resilience and adaptability.

Wadawurrung People are determined and committed to their cultural obligations to see their unique cultural heritage and cultural values 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, or visiting Wadawurrung Country. We want everyone to enjoy our holistic and diverse country, landscapes, the Land, mountains, inland, waterways and coastal areas.

Wadawurrung People are the Traditional Owners of this land.

Wadawurrung People care for the Land, waters and intangible heritage of their land. Wadawurrung Country covers over 10,000 square kilometres from the Great Dividing Range in the North, to the coast in the south, from the Werribee river in the east, and to Aireys inlet in the west, which includes Geelong and Ballarat.

Djilang traditional Wadawurrung name for Geelong

Djilang was the traditional Wadawurrung name for Geelong. Djilang meaning a “Tongue of Land”.

As Bunjil, our Karringalibil Murrup (Creator Spirit) flew over this country, his eyes looking down on country, he saw the water coming into the bay and the tongue of land – Djilang.

Djilang was a rich cultural landscape for the Wadawurrung, a place of plenty. From our wetlands, coastal country, rivers and inland country, the resources were used by our people to live a rich and sustainable life and as valuable trading materials. Significant cultural landscapes feature surrounding Djilang include: Wurdi Youang, meaning Big Hill and now known as the You Yangs, Corio Bay, meaning Sandy place, Lake Connewarre coming from the Wadawurrung word Kunawarra - the Black swan, and the Moorabool and Barwon Rivers, a connected system between the mountains and the sea. These significant cultural land features show how our land still speaks to us of our language, Wadawurrung Ancestors and their connection to this Country.

Rebecca Famlonga – Wadawurrung Traditional Owner

Wadawurrung country map

Wadawurrung Country map
Wadawurrung Country map showing colour coding for langauge, City of Grater Geelong area, Wadawurrung sea boundary extents, Township, Major Road / highway / freeway, Waterway and Rail Line. Legend also notes that this map is based on the current Registered Aboriginal Party boundaries - 2020. Although all due care has been taken to ensure that this document is correct, no warranty is expressed or implied by the City of Greater
Geelong or the State of Victoria in its use.

Our family have looked after and cared for this Country for over a thousand generations and are still caring for it to this very day. Wadawurrung Country is our Mother, we need to care for our Mother, and in return she will care for us. If our Mother’s lands, water and all things are healthy and cared for, we will have healthy country, healthy people and strong spirit.

Corrina Eccles – Wadawurrung Traditional Owner

The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (WTOAC), is the Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) for Wadawurrung country. Wadawurrung people are legally recognised under the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 as the Traditional Owners of this land. We are responsible for managing and protecting all Wadawurrung Cultural heritage, water, stories and history

Page last updated: Thursday, 23 May 2024