Promote Cultural Heritage and History

Why is this important?

Victoria has a rich cultural history, some of the oldest known Aboriginal occupation sites in Australia – including stone dwellings, rock art, stone arrangements, earth rings and scarred trees that connect us to generations dating back 40,000 years. Victoria is also rich in landscapes with cultural significance.

With the arrival of Europeans in Victoria the use of land changed dramatically. New cultural heritage places were created, from places where the first contacts between European and Aboriginal people occurred, to massacre sites, missions, protectorate stations and in more recent times, to places associated with the Aboriginal rights movement. (Visit the Aboriginal Victoria website for more information)

Documenting this history with Aboriginal people is important for ensuring places of cultural heritage significance are protected in local areas. It is also an important way for Councils to value, promote and build community awareness about the Aboriginal heritage of a local municipality, while demonstrating tangible support for reconciliation.

What can your council do?

The 2012 Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Engagement and Reconciliation Survey found that 41% of councils worked with Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) or Traditional Owners to build greater community awareness about Aboriginal cultural heritage and history. Types of activities included developing cultural heritage trails, facilitating educational opportunities and conducting community awareness events. Some councils conduct cultural heritage activities in Reconciliation Week and Heritage Week, include information about local Aboriginal history and cultural heritage in council publications, and place cultural heritage markers at significant sites.


Recognising Aboriginal Historical Sites at Warrandyte


Councils can also support Aboriginal employees to access Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Training This 3 day workshop runs twice a year and focuses on the preservation and management of Victorian Aboriginal cultural heritage in accordance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. 


Last Updated: August 17, 2020 at 1:11 pm

Case Study

Bullawah Cultural Trail and Marmungan Rock, Wangaratta



The Bullawah Cultural Trail showcases the cultural heritage of the Pangerang People along the Ovens River, through a series of interpretive signs, sculptures, a Bush Tucker Garden and the Marmungan Rock – a local honour roll acknowledging Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal elders and community leaders. The trail has been developed to celebrate, share and record the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the area, which is spiritually significant and rich in history.

The Pangerang People maintain strong links with Country and the name Bullawah, from Bulla – meaning two and wah – meaning water, signifies the joining of two rivers (Ovens and King) as well as the two suspension bridges crossing the river and the  coming together of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.  A collaborative project between the Rural City of Wangaratta, the Wangaratta Local Aboriginal Network known locally as the Dirrawarra Indigenous Network, and local Elders with funding from Regional Development Victoria, the Bullawah Cultural Trail is a source of pride and recognition not only for the local Pangerang People but for the entire local community.


Useful links

Aboriginal Victoria heritage resources and publications

Aboriginal intangible heritage in Victoria

Aboriginal Histories and Culture – ABC education series

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