Reconnecting the SonglinesNillumbik Shire’s Panton Hill Bushland Reserves (PHBRS) form part of the living landscape of the Wurundjeri people and provide an authentic environment to signify their indigenous heritage.
Nillumbik Shire Council has been working with a range of stakeholders toward reconciliation and promotion of indigenous cultural heritage project, Reconnecting the Songlines: The rejuvenation of the Aboriginal cultural landscape of Nillumbik.
The project aims to align objectives, skills and knowledge to build on, and support, networks with stakeholders who include; the Wurundjeri Council, Wandoon Estate (Coranderrk), Nillumbik Reconciliation Group, Friends of Panton Hill Bushland Reserves, Bend of Islands Community Association, Nillumbik Council’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Group, St Andrews Market Committee and the St Andrews Primary School.
This partnership project will build upon the cultural initiatives already achieved by Council and the Nillumbik Reconciliation Group with the objective of establishing real, and practical, reconciliation.
The development of a rich cultural education trail through Nillumbik’s unique Panton Hill Bushland Reserve System is also planned, which will integrate with other indigenous cultural programs and sites across the Shire to form a comprehensive, cultural education tool.
These trails will provide educational opportunities and cultural awareness programs for schools, the local community and the general public.
Council supports a range of cultural events including traditional welcome ceremonies, dancing and crafts such as bark shelter building, weaving and string making.
One of these events was a reconciliation event at Yanggai Reserve, which explored the concept of ‘Walkabout’ and indigenous bushcraft.
With 50 people joining in the spirit of the day, families gained a deeper appreciation of indigenous life through craft, stories and discussions.
By encouraging this positive cultural exchange Council hopes to inspire current land management practices to achieve conservation outcomes for generations to come.