Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation

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The Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation, a Registered Aboriginal Party since 21 May 2009, represents the indigenous people for the Geelong and Ballarat areas. Their responsibility includes ensuring that the Aboriginal culture is maintained there. The organization trades as Wadawurrung or Wathaurung. [1] [2]

Registered Aboriginal Party

Registered Aboriginal Parties are recognized Aboriginal people per the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act of 2006. Aboriginal people are recognized as the "primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders of Aboriginal cultural heritage". They protect and manage the Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria, Australia.

Geelong City in Victoria, Australia

Geelong is a port city located on Corio Bay and the Barwon River, in the state of Victoria, Australia. Geelong is 75 kilometres (47 mi) south-west of the state capital, Melbourne. It is the second largest Victorian city, with an estimated urban population of 192,393 as of June 2016. Geelong runs from the plains of Lara in the north to the rolling hills of Waurn Ponds to the south, with Corio Bay to the east and hills to the west. Geelong is the administrative centre for the City of Greater Geelong municipality, which covers urban, rural and coastal areas surrounding the city, including the Bellarine Peninsula.

Ballarat City in Victoria, Australia

Ballarat is a city located on the Yarrowee River in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia. The city has a population of 101,588.


The Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation has offices based in Ballarat, and implements responsibilities as a Registered Aboriginal Party under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, although a separate group, the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, based in Geelong, challenged the decision of the Aboriginal Heritage Council when the appointment was made. [3]

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 of Victoria, Australia was enacted "to provide for the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria". It established Registered Aboriginal Parties to act as the "primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders of Aboriginal cultural heritage". They protect and manage the Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria, Australia.

The Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative is a community organisation based in Geelong, Australia that supports the social, economic, and cultural development of Aboriginal people within the Geelong and surrounding areas. It was formed in 1978 and registered in 1980. It is located at 62 Morgan Street, North Geelong.


The Byron Powell was appointed chairperson in 2009. [1]

Sean Fagan has been the Cultural Heritage Coordinator since 2011. Prior to that, Bonnie Fagan (Chew) was Cultural Heritage Coordinator from 2008 to 2011. [4]

Bonnie Fagan, now known as Bonnie Chew, is an activist and advocate for her Indigenous heritage, and has sat on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council.

Cultural site mapping

Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation is using an application called CrestSX to map cultural sites, including sites that are significant for events now and back 25,000 years or more, when the Wathaurung people first inhabited the Geelong, Ballarat, and the Bellarine Peninsula. The funding was made available through a grant from the William Buckland Foundation that allowed the Victoria University's Sir Zelman Cowen Centre to work with Iconix to develop a geographic information system. The system will allow the Wathaurung people to map important sites, control the information, and share the information with land managers, such as catchment management authorities and Parks Victoria. Some sites are not self-evident. For instance, a corroboree tree was a meeting place for trading and dances. One red gum tree is one hundred years old and is located in Buninyong in the middle of a busy residential street. Using the software, they are able "to identify the site, [and] track its condition and management by recording its details and taking photos". Oral histories can be gathered to provide detail about a site's significance. The software has won a National Trust of Australia heritage award and an award by the City of Ballarat. [5]

A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data. GIS applications are tools that allow users to create interactive queries, analyze spatial information, edit data in maps, and present the results of all these operations. GIS sometimes refers to geographic information science (GIScience), the science underlying geographic concepts, applications, and systems.

Parks Victoria is a government agency of the state of Victoria, Australia.

Corroboree event where Australian Aborigines interact with the Dreamtime through dance, music and costume

A corroboree is an event where Australian Aboriginals interact with the Dreamtime through dance, music and costume. "Their bodies painted in different ways, and they wore various adornments, which were not used every day." The word corroboree was coined by the European settlers of Australia in imitation of an east coast local Aboriginal Australian word caribberie.

See also

Aboriginal sites of Victoria

Aboriginal sites of Victoria form an important record of human occupation for probably more than 40,000 years. They may be identified from archaeological remains, historical and ethnographic information or continuing oral traditions and encompass places where rituals and ceremonies were performed, occupation sites where people ate, slept and carried out their day to day chores, and ephemeral evidence of people passing through the landscape, such as a discarded axe head or isolated artefact.

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register (VAHR), is a list of all known Aboriginal cultural heritage places in Victoria, Australia.

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Grampians National Park Protected area in Victoria, Australia

The Grampians National Park, commonly referred to as The Grampians, is a national park located in the Grampians region of Victoria, Australia. The 167,219-hectare (413,210-acre) national park is situated between Stawell and Horsham on the Western Highway and Dunkeld on the Glenelg Highway, 260 kilometres (160 mi) west of Melbourne and 460 kilometres (290 mi) east of Adelaide. Proclaimed as a national park on 1 July 1984, the park was listed on the Australian National Heritage List on 15 December 2006 for its outstanding natural beauty and being one of the richest indigenous rock art sites in south-eastern Australia. The Grampians feature a striking series of sandstone mountain ranges.


In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Bunjil is a creator deity, culture hero and ancestral being, often depicted as a wedge-tailed eagle. In the Kulin nation in central Victoria he was regarded as one of two moiety ancestors, the other being Waa the crow. Bunjil has two wives and a son, Binbeal the rainbow. His brother is Palian the bat. He is assisted by six wirmums or shamans who represent the clans of the Eaglehawk moiety: Djart-djart the nankeen kestrel, Thara the quail hawk, Yukope the parakeet, Lar-guk the parrot, Walert the brushtail possum and Yurran the gliding possum.

Barwon River (Victoria) river in Victoria, Australia

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Clunes, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, 36 kilometres north of Ballarat, in the Shire of Hepburn. At the 2016 census it had a population of 1,728.

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Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous peoples on the continent and nearby islands is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Evidence of fires in South-West Australia suggest 'human presence in Australia 120,000 years ago', although more research is required. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.

Land councils, also known as land and sea councils, are Australian community organisations, generally organised by region, that are commonly formed to represent the Indigenous Australians who occupied their particular region before the arrival of European settlers. They have historically advocated for recognition of traditional land rights, and also for the rights of Indigenous people in other areas such as equal wages and adequate housing. Some states, such as the Northern Territory, have laws that provide for the existence of land councils and allocate them responsibilities for representing Aboriginal people in various matters. Other states do not have such laws, or have laws that provide for the existence of Aboriginal organisations that do not call themselves land councils to provide functions similar to those provided by land councils in some states. An example of this is in Victoria, where there are laws providing for organisations called 'Registered Aboriginal Parties', which provide functions in relation to Aboriginal people similar to those provided by land councils in, say, the Northern Territory.

The Eureka Council Inc. is an Australian organisation dedicated to the social, cultural, and heritage needs of Colonial and Anzac Australians. It promotes national pride, preservation of heritage and history, and Australian arts.

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Wurdi Youang mountain in Victoria, Australia

Wurdi Youang is an Aboriginal stone arrangement located off the Little River – Ripley Road at Mount Rothwell, near Little River, Victoria. The site was acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation on 14 January 2000 and transferred to the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative on 17 August 2006.

Ian D. Clark is an academic historian and Toponymist whose primary work has focused on Victorian Aboriginal history, aboriginal toponymy and the frontier conflict between Indigenous Australians and immigrant settlers during the European settlement of Victoria, Australia.

The Kurung were identified as an indigenous Australian group of the State of Victoria by Norman Tindale. The theory that they constituted an independent tribe has been challenged with modern scholarship generally considering them as a clan, associated to one of two major tribes. Their language is unconfirmed.

The Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation is a Registered Aboriginal Party and incorporated association representing the Bunurong community, particularly in matters relating to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

Willem Baa Nip also known as King Billy, William Gore or Billy Wa-wha, was a member of the Wadawurrung (Wathaurung).


  1. 1 2 "Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation". Victoria State Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  2. "Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation". Australian Telephone Directory. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  3. 'Indigenous land decision sparks legal threat', ABC News 8 Jul 2009, 6:54am
  4. "League of Historical Cities". Ballarat.vic.gov.au. 2012-04-18. Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  5. Lily Partland (10 July 2013). "Wathaurung use technology to take control of their cultural heritage". ABC Ballarat. Retrieved 10 December 2013.