Reconciliation effort rewarded

Article image - Reconciliation effort rewarded Aboriginal Victoria’s Manager Community Programs Chris Saunders with Council officers Katie Gibson and Justine Ambrosio at the award ceremony at the Koorie Heritage Trust. Photo via James Henry Photography.

A walking trail in the Rural City of Wangaratta has won the top award for Indigenous reconciliation for Victorian local governments.

The Bullawah Cultural Trail incorporates interpretive signage, sculptures, public art, short films, medicinal plants, bush tucker and the Marmungun Rock that honours both local Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders in the community.

The project received the Community HART (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together) Award in the Local Government category in June.

The HART awards recognise Victorian partnerships and initiatives that contribute to reconciliation outcomes at a local level and demonstrate Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working together.

Wangaratta Mayor Ken Clarke OAM commended those who collaborated on the project.

“The recognition of this project is particularly important during National Reconciliation Week and the project’s objectives align with this year’s theme of ‘Together let’s take the next steps’.

“I would like to congratulate the Elders that contributed to this project, the Dirrawarra Indigenous Network, the artists, the Council Officers and the community for embracing the project.”

The Bullawah Cultural Trail Project was developed along the Ovens River shared path to showcase, share and record local Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The word ‘Bullawah’ is a Pangerang word and means “two over the river” and signifies the suspension bridges.

Bullawah also signifies Indigenous and non-Indigenous people walking together hand in hand toward reconciliation and the coming together of cultures.