The VicConnect executive leadership team, including representatives from our client from Rail Projects Victoria, recently had the privilege of attending a cultural education presentation with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation
GLaWAC is the registered Aboriginal Party covering the areas of Latrobe, Wellington, Alpine and East Gippsland.
Our project – upgrades being delivered as part of the Gippsland Line Upgrade - is partly situated on Gunaikurnai country, from Morwell through to Traralgon.
Beginning at Kroathunkooloong Keeping Place in Bairnsdale with host Gratton Mullet, the team increased their awareness of the Gunaikurnai people’s history of the Gippsland area. The display included traditional hunting and fighting weapons, bark canoes, baskets, fishing spears, boomerangs and an exhibition of contemporary Gunaikurnai art.
The team then moved on Country to Howitt Park to view a scar tree. The scar tree is believed to be more than 170 years old and has a four-metre-long scar where bark has been peeled away when men made a canoe.
This area consists of major waterways which were a valuable food source and camping area, many artefacts have been removed from the area by the Traditional Owner Group.
The final destination was the GLaWAC centre where the team was given an extensive overview of the services provided to community and a Gunaikurnai Cultural Heritage presentation while enjoying lunch from the Bush Café on site.
Everyone involved agreed they built a better understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and heritage. Partnering with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, the Traditional Owner Group covering Morwell and Traralgon, the team was able to appreciate what the land on which they work means to the Aboriginal people, their Elders and how we must respect it whilst at work and on journeys through country in the future.