Every year, Council acknowledges NAIDOC Week as an important time for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community members — a time marked by opportunities to learn about and celebrate culture. This year it runs from Sunday 4 July to Sunday 11 July.
To commemorate the week, Council is partnering with Pacific Epping shopping centre to share some traditional creation stories from Wurundjeri Elder, Ian Hunter. The stories are currently being screened on loop in the event space at Pacific Epping, and will continue until 31 July.
Council is also encouraging residents to take a COVID-safe, self-guided tour to experience sacred ‘scarred trees’ and sites first-hand through the Keelbundoora Scarred Tree Heritage Trail. The Trail is free and takes walkers to 12 natural sites across RMIT's Bundoora campus, including to six scarred Wurundjeri trees and other sites of significance. Click here to access the self-guided tour resource.
The tree scars speak to the stories of the Wurundjeri clan, the traditional owners of the lands in and around Melbourne. The Trail was put together by the descendants of the Wurundjeri elder named Keelbundoora.
“NAIDOC Week is an important time for everyone to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Chair Administrator Ms Lydia Wilson said.
“We have one of the largest, and fastest growing, Aboriginal communities in metropolitan Melbourne living in the City of Whittlesea. We encourage our community to acknowledge and celebrate NAIDOC Week by participating in events that acknowledge our Aboriginal people.”
Gunditjmara man and Manager Aboriginal & Cultural Diversity at Council, Andrew Morrison, sees NAIDOC Week as an important reminder of the need to keep protecting land, water, sacred sites and cultural heritage, and to listen to the voices of Aboriginal people.
“This year’s theme, ‘Heal Country, heal our nation’, reminds us all that for generations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of our culture and heritage for all Australians,” Mr Morrison said.