The Wimmera region includes the traditional lands of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk People represented by the Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and the Eastern Maar represented by Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation.
Here is an introduction to People and Country in their own words.
We are part of our Country and our Country is part of us. Bunjil the creator, made our land, waterholes, animals, and plants and gave the Bram-bram-bult brothers, sons of Druk the frog, the responsibility to finish the tasks he had set for himself. They had to bring order to the new world by naming the animals and the plants, and to make the languages and give the Lore.
This is why Wotjobaluk Peoples are obligated to look after Country and Culture and keep it healthy and strong. Country heals us: it connects us to our dreaming stories, to our ancestors and spirits. It is the foundation of our future. All parts of Country are connected and if our Country is treated with respect and care, then it will continue to sustain and provide for us. It is vitally important that we continue to share our traditional land management practices so the land, waters and all living resources can thrive.
Elders at Horseshoe Bend
Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BGLC) is the trustee for the Native Title rights and interests of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk People, collectively known as the Wotjobaluk Nations as recognised in the Consent Determination on 13 December 2005. BGLC’s Registered Aboriginal Party area under the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 includes places such as Gurru (Lake Hindmarsh), Ngalpakatia/Ngelpagutya (Lake Albacutya), Pine Plains Lake, Lake Werringrin, Lake Coorong, Warracknabeal, Beulah, Hopetoun, Dimboola, Ouyen, Yanac, Hattah Lakes, Dyurrite (Mount Arapiles), Burrunj (Black Range) and the Barringgi Gadyin (Wimmera River).
Several significant places are outlined through our Country Plan, but like all places across our Country, the river, the lakes, the swamps, and all other landscape features in this area are of high cultural significance. Our creation stories of these places are ours to sustain and we wish to tell our story as the knowledge holders of the traditional land management practices and the ancient narrative of this area. We wish to work collaboratively, honestly, and transparently with partners to heal Country by cultivating a deeper connection between it and all people.
Our families have deep Ancestral connection to this region and are inherently invested in seeing the better management of the land and water so we can achieve greater outcomes for Country and those that live on it.
The following statement in a Maar language and in English is from the Eastern Maar:
‘watnanda koong meerreeng, tyama-ngan malayeetoo’ Ngatanwarr
Together body and Country, we know long time.