Elder Aunty Bernadette Franklin provided the Welcome to Country to guests attending the launch of the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation’s (TCAC) Country Plan and the official opening of the Badji Baanang Indigenous Garden at the Y Wetlands Discovery Centre at Yea on Friday, November 10.
At the launch TCAC CEO Marcus Stewart said the actions and priorities were “the game plan…pillars that bind the (Taungurung) mob”.
“If we care for country the country will care for us,” he said. “This plan took about three years to develop and involved a lot of people and lot of work - I want to thank everyone involved.”
Victorian Catchment Management Council Chair Angus Hume launched the plan and noted its emphasis on keeping Taungurung language alive as well as describing the Traditional Owners’ ongoing connection to their Country pre- and post-colonisation.
“By regularly reviewing and reporting back on progress, Taungurung will be able to highlight to government and other stakeholders the measures and resources needed to enable them to keep going with the work (needed to deliver the plan),” Mr Hume said.
Murrindindi Shire Council Mayor Charlie Bissett officially opened the Badji Baanang Garden.
The garden, designed by Karen Sutherland from Edible Eden Design, is planted with a range of plants commonly used by Taungurung for food, medicine and cultural purposes. Signs list the plants’ names in Taungurung and information on how they were used by the Traditional Owners. Goulburn Broken CMA’s Gaye Sutherland and Taungurung’s Angela TenBuuren and Lee Healy provided information on the plants and language, while staff from Edible Eden Design, Murrindindi Shire Council and the Australian Government’s Green Army and TCAC’s Shane Monk helped with the planting. Taungurung’s Mick Harding and Cassie Leatham created the artwork on the garden’s fence, which features Taungurung’s two totems Bundjil (wedge-tailed eagle) and Waang (crow).
“Thousands of people visit the Y Water Discovery Centre each year with the majority of visitors coming from Melbourne or outside the region,” Cr Bissett said.
“This garden and information about the Traditional Owners recognises Taungurung’s Connection to Country and will create even more interest in this important tourist attraction.”
Funding for the Taungurung Country Plan and the Badji Baanang Indigenous Garden was provided through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.