Indigenous communities

Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Traditional Land Owners                      

An Acknowledgement of Country should be given at formal events, forums and functions such as Government and Local Government meetings, conferences, school assemblies, concerts, board meetings, and official openings. The first speaker at an event or function (following the welcome or in the absence of a welcome) should give the Acknowledgment of Country. Subsequent speakers may also give an acknowledgement.

An Acknowledgement of Country recognises that Victoria has a strong and proud Aboriginal history and complex ownership and land stewardship systems stretching back many thousands of years. It pays respect to the Traditional Owners.

Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (the Bunurong)

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (VAHC) appointed the Bunurong as a Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) for the area which covers Frankston City in 2017. If organising a Welcome to Country for an event or function within Frankston City, it is advisable to contact the Bunurong. If you are making an Acknowledgement of Country within Frankston City, you should acknowledge the Bunurong people. 

Example language:  

'Our meeting/conference/workshop is being held on the traditional lands [or country] of the [Traditional Owner group's name] people and I wish to acknowledge them as Traditional Owners.

I would also like to pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and the Elders from other communities who may be here today.’

Cultural Heritage

The traditional owners of land in and around Frankston are the Bunurong people. The country of the traditional owners extends from the Werribee Creek to the Tarwin River and Wilson's Promontory. The traditional owners are one of 30 tribes which still occupy Victoria.

Life was seasonal, with the availability of different plants and animals varying throughout the year. The Frankston foreshore and Kananook Creek area provided an ideal place to fish and hunt as it had seafood and saltwater plants as well as freshwater fish and eels. The Kananook Creek also provided drinking water, encouraged animals to the area and nourished other plants and trees.

The traditional culture of Indigenous people is resilient and is characterised by strong recognition and valuing of the roles of elders and traditional customs, such as reciprocity and a shared vision of community. The strength and resilience of the Indigenous culture provides a sound basis for developing a sustainable community in the long-term.

The 2016 census identified 1274 Indigenous people living in Frankston City, although there may be many more Indigenous people who did not identify themselves as Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islanders in the census.

Frankston City Council Reconciliation Action Plan

Frankston City Council is committed to working with our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community and traditional owners to enhance social, economic and environmental outcomes and maintain engagement with community and stakeholders and provide cultural support and advice in development and implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan to ensure alignment with community expectations and needs

Frankston City Council Reconciliation Advisory Committee

Established a representative Reconciliation Reference Group to oversee the development and implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan.

National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee

NAIDOC Week is also a time the Indigenous community can celebrate their survival and continuation of their culture and invite the wider community to share in these celebrations.

Nairm Marr Djambana (Aboriginal Gathering Place)

Nairm Marr Djambana (Gathering by the Bay) is a place to conduct Aboriginal health, cultural, recreation and social activities. It is a meeting place to provide opportunities to further advance and improve the health of Aboriginal people of all genders and ages.

The Gathering Place is located on the north-western corner of Jubilee Park, Frankston off Nursery Avenue.

Two portable buildings were donated by Chisholm TAFE to Frankston City Council who in turn have allocated the buildings for the Gathering Place site.

Nairm Marr Djambana has its own incorporated committee who coordinate all activities and operations of the facility.

Nairm Marr Djambana:

  • Provides a social / community meeting place and sense of hope and belonging
  • Encourages environmental. spiritual and emotional healing
  • Provides opportunities for education and training
  • Promotes healthy lifestyle choices
  • Cares for the land and environment
  • Facilitates information / distributes resources
  • Promotes recreation and leisure
  • Provides social benefit to the whole community
  • Identifies the gaps in service provision
  • Builds support / network and strengthen the community

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