Last week at the VVP Research and Development Forum Uncle Bryon from the Wathaurong Aboriginal Corporation gave a very moving Welcome to Country. He encouraged us to turn around and take a closer look at the representation of a Victorian Volcanic Plains panorama, that was behind us on a series of posters, the Volcano Dreaming. Bryon took time to point out various aspects of the scene and said it “was not just country, it was ancestors’ country”.
The waterhole and cave system is like a supermarket, where people gathered, camped and lived. Basalt is an indication that we are in Bunjil’s country. The You Yangs where the spirits rested. Bryon has just returned from Cape York where he and some others from the Corangamite CMA area attended a workshop learning to burn country with the local elders.Bryon has come back with a “passion to restore grasslands”.
“Everyone is responsible to care for country”. He reminded us to ‘step lightly’ and presented a small branch of Cherry Ballart to Poly Matthews, CCMA, who accepted it on behalf of all the forum attendees. Cherry Ballart is used in ceremonies and as a food and medicine.