In early June, Merri Creek Management Committee honoured National Sorry Day with Whittlesea Council at the Quarry Hill Bushland Park in South Morang, co-leading a guided walk and community event Local Bushland: a Historical Discovery.

The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week, held by Reconciliation Australia, is Now More Than Ever, a theme that reminds Australians that “no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will – and must continue.”20240526 114339

Wurundjeri educator Ian Hunter co-led the Quarry Hill walk with Merri Creek Management Committee’s Angela Foley to mark National Sorry Day together with the Whittlesea Community. Ian and Angela led an exploration of the developing Quarry Hills Regional Parkland, an important cultural place and the largest regional park in the City of Whittlesea.

Connecting to Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country with Aboriginal leaders is an important commitment for Merri Creek Management Committee to actively show respect and recognition of unceded Country.

As the cultural authority of the day, Ian’s Welcome to Country was marked by the white smoke of the heated bulait leaves (Cherry Ballart) on a fire begun from scratch with plant materials and a lot of hand-twirling and rubbing to produce embers.

Together, the group encountered groups of tiny Red-browed Finches flitting and feasting in the tender grasses. They heard Spotted Marsh Frogs and Southern Brown Tree Frogs calling around a small pond holding water amongst the 350-million-year-old, speckled granite boulders rising to the north of the basaltic Victorian Volcanic Plains.

This area is identified as a Regional Parkland of significance by the State Government and is a defining open space feature in Whittlesea. The 330-hectare parkland will ultimately expand to cover approximately 1100 hectares.

Thanks to the City of Whittlesea for funding this event.