Today Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (DJAARA) officially opened the upgraded visitor site at Lalgambuk (Mount Franklin) in a joint celebration with Parks Victoria.
The gathering commenced with a smoking Ceremony and storytelling by Uncle Rick (Dja Dja Wurrung Elder, he then welcomed everyone to walk through the smoke followed by words by Trent Nelson (Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation Board Chair), Uncle Graham Atkinson (Parks Victoria Board) and Harley Douglas (DJAARA Program Manager Joint Management).
Dja Dja Wurrung community leaders and Elders talked about Lalgambuk and the significane it holds for the Dja Dja Wurrung People.
There is Dja Dja Wurrung-designed facilities, including a shelter, furniture and signage – which have been built and installed through DJAARA’s enterprise DJANDAK – have transformed the visitor site.
Lalgambuk is a tangible outcome of DJAARA’s joint management with Parks Victoria for the benefit of the whole community and the generations that will follow and share this beautiful space.
Chair of the DJAARA Board Trent Nelson described the Lalgambuk visitor site as having been ‘Djaara-fied’.
‘The visitor site features Dja Dja Wurrung-designed facilities, including a shelter, furniture and signage, which we have built and installed through DJAARA’s enterprise DJANDAK,’ Mr Nelson said.
‘We are embedding Dja Dja Wurrung knowledge, language and culture back into the landscape at Lalgambuk, which is a very significant place for Djaara (Dja Dja Wurrung People).
‘It’s really important for Djaara to see ourselves in Djandak (Dja Dja Wurrung Country). And we are proud to share our Culture and Country with others. ‘This upgraded “Djaara-fied” visitor site is a great outcome of DJAARA's Joint Management with Parks Victoria for the benefit of the whole community,’ Mr Nelson said.
Parks Victoria District Manager Stuart Lardner said Parks Victoria is proud to be working with DJAARA to help people experience nature.
“This project broadens that experience at Lalgambuk, with upgrades that encourage both short visits and overnight camping. Importantly, the upgrades also help visitors better understand the cultural landscape in which the visitor area sits,” Mr Lardner said. “This project is a wonderful example of Parks Victoria’s commitment to Managing Country Together – a commitment to strong, meaningful partnerships with Traditional Owners,” Mr Lardner added.
Lalgambuk is part of a significant cultural landscape with an oral history dating back 10,000 years. The park is one of six parks and reserves on Dja Dja Wurrung Country that have been handed back to DJAARA to manage jointly with Parks Victoria to provide shared outcomes for all community.
The upgraded visitor site is the first Recreation, Cultural Practice and Customs (RCPC) area to be opened in a jointly managed park.
RCPC areas aim to empower Djaara to celebrate and practice their culture, while educating the wider community about Dja Dja Wurrung cultural values and practices.