MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education)
In the 1830s a terrible event occurred near Portland, at a coastal area known as the ‘Convincing Ground’.
European whalers, in advance of the wave of squatters who took over much of Western Victoria’s land, brutally wiped out almost all of the Kilcarrer Gunditj clan.
This awful act was the earliest recorded massacre of Aboriginal people by Europeans in Victoria.
The Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation has received a Coastcare Victoria community grant for the Convincing Ground restoration project that will be an important first step in the healing process for this land, nearly two centuries after the event.
Last year UNESCO added Budj Bim, further north, to its World Heritage List—the first cultural landscape in Australia to be added solely for its Aboriginal cultural values.
A keeping place has been built on the site of the old Lake Condah Mission—Tae Rak—to provide a community business and administrative centre and a home for cultural artefacts repatriated from other parts of Australia.
The keeping place is jointly funded by the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program and Gunditj Mirring.
The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape Master Plan, funded with $13 million to date from Regional Development Victoria, is a unique opportunity for the conservation and sustainable use of a special landscape for community purposes and tourism, where government, the Gunditjmara people and the tourism industry can work together.
The plan encompasses Tyrendarra township and Indigenous protected area, Kurtonitj—the site of stone house remains, a village and the vast traditional aquaculture system—and the wetlands of Tae Rak, the heart of Gunditjmara country.
This government is proud to support opportunities to tell the stories of the people of the south-west and its landscapes