It’s National Reconciliation Week between 27 May and 3 June. Reconciliation Week celebrates Aboriginal history and culture in Australia and fosters reconciliation through discussion and activities.
Diabetes Victoria works towards reconciliation though our Aboriginal programs and resources such as Feltman and the Road to Good Health. Another way to support reconciliation is by finding out about Aboriginal history.
Everybody knows that Melbourne was built on Aboriginal land. But did you know that there are many important Aboriginal landmarks throughout the city? Here are five of them.
The Corroboree Tree is a familiar sight to motorists driving through St Kilda Junction. Crammed into a corner of Albert Park near the Junction Cricket Oval, the Corroboree Tree is an important ceremonial site for the Bunurong people. At least 300 years old, this River Red Gum is said by some to be the oldest living thing in Melbourne.
The Aboriginal crossing over the Maribyrnong River, Wurundjeri Country
Now known as Solomon’s Ford, this ancient crossing over the Maribyrnong River is at the west end of Canning Street in Avondale Heights. The natural ford was used by the Wurundjeri people for thousands of years. Its European name comes from Michael Solomon, who started a sheep station here in 1836. For many years it was the only way to cross the Maribyrnong between Melbourne and Geelong.
Batman’s Treaty on Merri Creek, Wurundjeri Country
On June 6 1835 the Tasmanian settler John Batman signed a treaty with Wurundjeri elders to buy 240,000 hectares of land where Melbourne now stands. Nobody knows for sure exactly where the treaty was signed, but oral tradition places it on the Merri Creek near Rushall Station. This was the only land treaty negotiated between Europeans and Indigenous Australians during the period of colonisation.
Parkies Tree in the Carlton Gardens, Wurundjeri Country
The Parkies Tree is a giant Moreton Bay Fig in the Carlton Gardens near the corner of Nicholson and Gertrude Streets. From the 1920s to 1990s Fitzroy was the heart of Aboriginal Melbourne. The Parkies Tree became an important public meeting place where religious events, political speeches and picnics were held.
The Northcote Koori Mural on St Georges Rd, Wurundjeri Country
This 40-metre long mural was painted by a group of Aboriginal artists in 1983-85. Originally located opposite Northcote Town Hall, it was digitally restored and moved to its current location on St Georges Rd in 2013. It shows famous events and people from Aboriginal history such as world boxing champion Lionel Rose, Aboriginal activists Sir Doug and Gladys Nicholls, and singer Archie Roach.