Dja Dja Wurrung Partnership (By Sarah Eccles and Al Dermer)

on 21 May 2013 

The Dja Dja Wurrung (DDW) people are the traditional owners of Nardoo Hills and John Colahan Griffin reserves in Central Victoria.  Dja Dja Wurrung rangers and Bush Heritage staff have been working together on a project which identifies cultural sites, places and values of these reserves and ways to manage these together.

On the 13th May BH staff and members from DDW enterprise (their commercial, cultural and land management wing) met at Nardoo Hils to look at cultural heritage values identified in the cultural assessment undertaken by DDWE. We shared and discussed the management recommendations in the cultural assets report, shared BHA management knowledge and experience and was a great opportunity to get to know the country and each other better.

Important cultural values identified include artefact scatters, living and cooking areas, bush foods and medicines. Dja Dja Wurrung rangers are providing ongoing guidance on how we can together best manage and promote these values.

Bunjil (wedge- tail eagle) visited us and  is a creator being, a Dja Dja Wurrung ancestral spirit and a strong reminder that cultural heritage is not only associated with the past and physical features but encompasses a sense of connection that people have to a place or landscape that reflects history, value systems and cultural identity. 

The work we are doing together reaffirms Dja Dja Wurrung’s aspirations for continuing their custodianship in looking after their country and is tied to the present and the future.  Through this work Dja Dja Wurrung and Bush Heritage have develop a range of future partnership activities which focus on managing country and culture together.