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Aboriginal Gathering Place a step towards reconciliation

Aboriginal Gathering Place a step towards reconciliation

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

The City of Whittlesea’s journey towards reconciliation reached a milestone on Tuesday when the first sod was turned on the Aboriginal Gathering Place at Quarry Hills Parkland. 

Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson and Administrators Peita Duncan and Christian Zahra AM were joined by leaders of the local Aboriginal community at a moving ceremony to mark the occasion. 

The Aboriginal Gathering Place is a key part of Council’s commitment to reconciliation and self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Establishing a place to promote cultural practices and knowledge-sharing has been a policy priority for Council, the Whittlesea Reconciliation Group (WRG) and Whittlesea Aboriginal Gathering Place Advisory Group for many years.  

The Aboriginal Gathering Place will be built on land at Quarry Hills Parkland that holds great significance for the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people. 

Construction is anticipated to begin in early-to-mid 2024, with the centre expected to open in 2025. 

Administrator Peita Duncan, who is a member of the WRG, said Council was committed to reconciliation and creating opportunities for improved cultural, health, social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal residents. 

“The Aboriginal Gathering Place will have enormous benefits for the local Aboriginal community,” she said. 

"It will be a culturally safe space where Elders can connect not only with each other, but with younger generations and the community at large.” 

“And it will strengthen Aboriginal culture through connection to Country and empower Aboriginal residents by fostering a greater understanding of traditions and customs.” 

The Aboriginal Gathering Place will feature indoor and outdoor multi-purpose spaces including consulting suites, meeting room, quiet room and a large community events space for up to 100 people. 

“By celebrating Aboriginal culture we can increase awareness and understanding in the wider community,” Peita said. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to make a real difference in the lives of so many people in our community.” 

For more information about the Aboriginal Gathering Place, go to