First Peoples' community information

Information, resources, policies and community contacts for and about First Peoples communities in Port Phillip.

Acknowledgement

Council respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of this land. We pay our respect to their Elders, past and present. We acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land.

Acknowledgement assistance

For general inquiries about welcomes to country, language requests and Aboriginal history of Port Phillip, contact info@boonwurrung.org.au

The Boon Wurrung representative for the City of Port Phillip:

Parbin-ata Carolyn Briggs AM - Senior Boon Wurrung Elder and Traditional Owner, Boon Wurrung Foundation

Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung

Discover the Boon Wurrung clan with Yalukit Willam: The River People of Port Phillip. The booklet contains a suburb-by-suburb account of historical events sourced from early records, the Yaluk-ut Weelam walk, and the point of view of descendants and contemporaries of the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung.

Additional local cultural landmarks and sights of significance can be found in on the Ngargee to Nerm - from ancient tree to ancient sea walk. Further information on signage locations can be found at Yalukit Weelams signs.

You can also see a unique hand-made possum skin cloak by Boon Wurrung Traditional owner Caroline Martin. Caroline was commissioned to design and craft this significant Aboriginal cultural asset which is in the care of the Port Phillip City Collection.

Visit First Peoples local history and culture for more arts, events and education.

We-akon Dilinja – a mourning reflection event

The City of Port Phillip is supporting an Australia Day event that brings the whole community together to commemorate and celebrate the rich diverse culture of the First People of this land.

Visit the We-Akon Dilinja page to watch the 2021 livestream and see the event program.

About the event

On 26 January 2020, City of Port Phillip supported an inaugural Australia Day event that brought the whole community together to commemorate and celebrate the rich diverse culture of the First People of this land. Essentially a nationwide first event of its kind, the We-akon Dilinja dawn ceremony was the first time an Indigenous remembrance ceremony had been held in Port Phillip on this date and recognised the efforts of Boonwurrung Ancestors and Elders to preserve their ancient cultural heritage.

The ceremony recognised the journey and experience of the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung people and language group. The service was held at Alfred Square, St Kilda, from 6 am; taking place as the sun was rising.

This ceremony was part of the City of Port Phillip’s 2020 Australia Day celebrations and was delivered in collaboration with the Boonwurrung Land and Sea Council.

Reconciliation week

Reconciliation Week is held annually from 27 May to 3 June. The dates commemorate the anniversaries of the 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision.

NAIDOC week

Since the 1990s, the week of national celebration for First Australians, commonly known as NAIDOC Week, has been commemorated at Council via flag raisings, community events and civic arts events.

Information about dates and local celebrations will be posted on this page when available.  

Council's statement of commitment

‘The Council of the City of Port Phillip acknowledges that Indigenous Australians were the first people of this land and have survived European settlement for more than two centuries.

The City of Port Phillip values its diverse and multicultural community and encourages tolerance and respect for all.

The arrival of Europeans brought massive change to the land and to its indigenous peoples.

For its part, Port Phillip City Council acknowledges and grieves for the loss by the indigenous people of their land, their children, their health and their lives.

We acknowledge the right of indigenous Australians to live according to their own values and customs, subject to law and we commit ourselves to respecting Aboriginal sacred sites and significant places.

The Council recognises the valuable contribution to the Port Phillip region made by indigenous people and looks forward to a future of mutual respect and harmony.

The Council supports the indigenous and non-indigenous people of Australia working together for the development of a formal instrument of reconciliation.’

This statement was endorsed by the City of Port Phillip on 27 August, 1997, and re-endorsed by Council in 2011.

Plans and strategies

Port Phillip has adopted several plans and strategies to explore employment opportunities, build awareness and understanding, and enhances cultural and economic development for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This includes the:

Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation

Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation Inc. (PPCfR) is a voluntary, not for profit community group beginning in 1997 during a public meeting at St Kilda Town Hall. PPCfR aims to maintain local awareness of the reconciliation agenda, while promoting an understanding of the history of Aboriginal people - particularly the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung, the Traditional Owners of Port Phillip.

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