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.’

Frankston City Indigenous Community and Traditional Owners

Frankston City Council is committed to working with our Indigenous community and traditional owners to enhance social, economic and environmental outcomes.

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.

There are a number of programs and strategies offered by Council

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 occupied Victoria. It is estimated that the traditional owners lived in the area from as far back as 40,000 years ago.

The traditional owners were hunter-gathers, living on the natural produce existing in the area. Men hunted and women gathered plants. People ate local animals, plants, fish and shellfish. They did not use boats, but fished from shallow waters using nets.

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.

Ingredients for medicine and painting, materials for clothing and implements for activities such as hunting and aids for carrying babies were found locally or traded with neighbouring tribes.

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.

Aboriginal Gathering Place

The Gathering Place 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.

The Frankston Gathering Place has its own incorporated committee who coordinate all activities and operations of the facility. The Frankston Gathering Place Committee are known as Nairm Marr Djambana (Gathering by the Bay).

The Gathering Place:

  • 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

National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee

The National Indigenous day began as a Day of Mourning, which was held prior to Australia Day from 1940 to 1955.

The protest marches that preceded the Day of Mourning are recognised as being amongst the first major civil rights gatherings of modern times, and they saw thousands of people march through the streets of Sydney.

However, it was decided that a national Aboriginal day should be a celebration, rather than just a protest. In 1957, NAIDOC - or NADOC as it was then - was born as a weeklong celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultures.

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.

Contact Us

Frankston City Council
30 Davey Street
Frankston 3199
P. 1300 322 322

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