Ceremonial rock circle an award finalist

Article image - Ceremonial rock circle an award finalist A ceremony to launch Babepal Paen-mirring, meaning ĎMotherís tearí

Moonee Valley City Council’s new ceremonial rock circle at Five Mile Creek Reserve, Essendon was shortlisted as a finalist in the Local Government category of this year’s HART (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together) Awards.

The awards, presented by Reconciliation Victoria and the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA), acknowledge Victorian initiatives that contribute to local reconciliation outcomes.

Moonee Valley Mayor, John Sipek, said the new rock circle (called Babepal Paen-mirring, meaning “Mother’s tear” in Woi wurrung language) is an important part of Council’s reconciliation efforts with the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Moonee Valley sits, the Wurundjeri People.

“The site on which the rock circle sits recognises a registered site of Aboriginal significance and protects artefacts found at the site.

“After consultations with the Wurundjeri Land Council, it was decided to place rocks in the shape of an eye so that the tears of Mother Earth could flow down into Five Mile Creek.”

Council engaged the Wurundjeri Narrap team to create, manage and maintain the site, including planting, landscaping and burnings. This has allowed the team to connect with their Country while also putting funds back into the Wurundjeri Council.

Portfolio holder for Access, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Councillor Cam Nation, said the site is an important part of a broader approach outlined in the Reconciliation Policy to educate the community about the significance of this area to the Wurundjeri People.

“We will continue to work with the Wurundjeri Council to hold ceremonies and demonstrations of Wurundjeri culture at the site. The rock circle has also become a space for other Aboriginal people to connect with the land on which they live.”