Merri Creek Management Committee

Wurundjeri partnership with Uncle Dave talkingWe recently completed the second phase of a multi-year collaboration between MCMC and the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (WWCHAC). The project is funded by a grant from the City of Yarra to explore cultural and ecological values at the Merri and Birrarung Confluence. 

The slideshows from two online events - Talking Merri Birrarung: Caring for Country where the Merri flows into Birrarung (Yarra River) in December 2021 and January 2022 - reflect the project’s goal to enrich community connections to Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country. They are valuable resources on local intercultural responses to Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung cultural practices.

We welcome Moreland City Council's decision to change its name to the Woiwurrung phrase Merri-bek, which means 'rocky country'. Moreland collaborated with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation on the renaming. We are particularly pleased that the new name has strong links to Merri Creek, or Merri Merri as the name wwas originally recorded, which means 'very rocky'.  We expect to see the new name on digital materials and major signage later this year after it receives formal approval from the Govenor in Council. We will update our own materials at that point to reflect the new name of our member Council.

Silver Banksias at MCMCMCMC has received 500 Silver Banksia seedlings (Banksia marginata, tree form) from the Friends of the Forgotten Woodlands, a volunteer group working to rebuild the Banksia, Bursaria and Sheoak woodlands that were once a keystone of the Victorian Volcanic Plains. The seedlings will be planted into our new Tree Banksia Orchard in Fawkner, which will bring together genetic material from ten different Silver Banksia populations on the volcanic plains, along with material from three populations from places matching Melbourne’s future modelled climate. The Banksia project was made possible by generous donations to the Merri Creek Environment Fund.

Come along and help plant out the Orchard on Wednesday 24 August at 10am, at the east end of Jukes Rd, Fawkner - see Google map.

Dr Beth GottAlthough Dr Beth Gott’s extraordinarily distinguished scientific career as an ethno-botanist ended on 8 July, her legacy will endure. Dr Gott helped us to understand, preserve and recover indigenous flora and learn about fire regimes, Aboriginal languages, bush medicines and the multiple seasons of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung calendar. She deepened our conception of nearby cultural places enabling us to conceive of Merri Creek as Wurundjeri Country. Her commitment to scholarship, field work, learning and the community was always with acknowledgement of and respect for Traditional Custodians. Even well into her 90’s, Beth joined local Merri community events and taught us more about murnong, the yam daisy that was once so wide-spread across the grassslands of the Merri and beyond.

Clean up with Elk groupDuring March 2022, MCMC coordinated a community litter creek clean-up program that removed thousands of pieces of litter and almost 300 kgs in weight from the Merri, Edgars and Moonee Ponds Creeks. This included: 18 staff from the Darebin fashion design business, Elk (photo); almost 40 cubs and adults from the 4th Brunswick Cubs; Glenroy residents, Flower and Vedia, running local clean-up days; 15 people joining Friends of Merri Creek's monthly litter clean-up; 20 Scouts and Venturers from Clifton Hill Scout Group; 10 staff members from the engineering firm, GHD; and 10 keen volunteers from Whittlesea Environment Action Youth Group.

These group’s efforts have been documented on the Litterwatch Vic data portal, enabling the main pollution hot spots to be tracked and help reduce litter at its source.

We can support you to run your own litter clean-up event - contact the Rapid Response to Litter Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Further information on running a successful litter clean-up event is available on the Friends of Merri Creek website.

Proudly funded by the Cities of Darebin, Moreland, Whittlesea and Yarra.

This recording is useful for those with indigenous gardens at home or in school grounds.

Our Poa story was recorded in March 2021. It focuses on the valuable seed and the benefits of harvesting it in Iuk (Woi-wurrung language for Short-finned eel) Season on Wurundjeri Country.

Striped Legless LizardOver spring/summer, MCMC's Ecological Restoration Team conducted targeted surveys for Striped Legless Lizard (Delmar impar) at multiple sites in the Western Grassland Reserve for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. After many long days flipping tiles, the team were delighted to report multiple Striped Legless Lizard sightings, including finding three of the rare lizards under the one tile!

Burn at Ngarri djarrangWe recently finished our 2022 burn program - the biggest ever! Eleven ecological burns were conducted at a range of sites across greater Melbourne. MCMC worked with Darebin City Council to burn Ngarri-djarrang grassland in Reservoir and undertoook burns at a number of Merri grassland sites in Fawkner.  We also conducted burns at Braybrook Grassland, under contract for the Department of Transport, and at rail corridor sites for Metro Trains Melbourne. In order to successfully carry out our burn program, all our Ecological Restoration Team members completed ‘Assist with prescribed burn’ training in April, including six new team members who recently joined us.

Galada TambooreGalada Gorge specky RR (meaning “Stream waterhole”) is one of the most spectacular sites along Merri Creek and is a place of great significance to the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people. Galada Tamboore supports critically endangered Native Grassland and provides refuge to at least eight threatened species of flora and fauna. This Native Grassland is the focus of our project.

Our Grasslands of Galada Tamboore project will provide an array of activities to bring the area's wonders to a wider audience. Volunteers will have opportunities to meaningfully connect with the site and its cultural, ecological and geological values. We want to grow a volunteer group for the area, build up skills and knowledge, grow threatened plants, harvest and sow their seed, and free the grassland from noxious weeds.

Our first well-attended event was held on 12 March and nine events are following. 

flooding from trainline southwest 15 09 16We welcome the proposal to retain the southern part of Burrung Buluk (former Hanna Swamp) in the revised Beveridge North West Precinct Structure Plan. The swamp, which is one of the Wallan Wallan wetlands in the upper Merri catchment, was recently given the Woi-wurrung name: Burrung Buluk. 

Earlier proposals for the Beveridge North West Precinct showed the swamp covered by urban development. After a highly effective presentation by Mark Bachmann of Nature Glenelg Trust, on behalf of Friends of Merri Creek, the Planning Panel Report to the Minister recommended the swamp be protected.  

The next challenge will to be to protect the northern part of Burrung Buluk which falls within a different precint, the Wallan South PSP. Bizarrely, this natural feature, falls across two different precincts and its fate as a single, integrated entity rests on two separate decsion-making processes.

If you're interested in wetland restoration 'Wetland Restoration 101' - Reading the landscape with Nature Glenelg Trust gives an excellent introduction to the approach taken by the NGT. 

Photo shows Herne Swamp, the largest of the Wallan Wallan wetlands, after heavy rain in Sept. 2016, with the volcanic cone of Mt Fraser in background.