Post Conference Field Trips

Walking tour of Aboriginal Melbourne

Saturday 9th December 2017

Cost: $30 p/p (morning tea not included)

This half day waking tour will begin at the Koorie Heritage Trust Building, with a special behind-the-scenes tour of our collections. Morning tea will be available for purchase at Federation Square before we continue to the Birrarung Wilam (Common Ground) Aboriginal art installations. The gentle walk across the William Barak Bridge that crosses over Batman Avenue will take in the stories of two significant figures who shaped the history of Melbourne for both the local Aboriginal people and the settlers.
Once over the bridge you will enter a traditional Kulin Nations meeting place thousands of years old which has become a significant contemporary meeting place for Melbournians and Victorians today. Here you will learn about the ongoing use of local Aboriginal culture in the setting of major sporting events at the MCG before finishing at protected cultural heritage sites, the Scar Trees, and understanding what they can tell us today about a history and culture that is 60,000 years old.

Tour leader: Koorie Heritage Trust 


9:30am Start
11.00am - 11.30am Morning Tea
Finishing around 12:30/1 pm

Tour of Mt William greenstone axe quarry (Wil-im-ee Moor-ring)

Saturday 9th December 2017

Cost: $105.00 (meals not included)

This day tour of the Mt William greenstone axe quarry (Wil-im-ee Moor-ring) showcases one of Australia's most important Aboriginal quarries. Here Wurundjeri ancestors quarried superb greenstone (volcanic diorite) from stone outcrops to make their axes. Wil-im-ee Mooring means “home of many axes” in our traditional language, Woi wurrung.

Wil-im-ee Mooring was the centre of an extraordinary trading network that extended into New South Wales, South Australia and as far as the Northern Territory. These axes were highly prized and traded for goods such as possum skins and other valuable resources. The trade also had important social functions. It reinforced social bonds between groups and strengthened kinship links.

Stone outcrops were fractured using fire alternated with cold water, and the stone was levered loose with fire-hardened poles. Using stone anvils as work benches, the stones would be fashioned into blanks. These were later sharpened into axe heads using abrasive sandstone to achieve a sharp edge. A large sandstone boulder with thirty-one grooves made by the sharpening of stone axes is located at Mount Macedon, thirty kilometres away.

The quarry site covers forty hectares and the vast number of scattered rock fragments among the anvil stones is testimony to the industry of the tool makers. The site is of international significance and is listed on the National Register of Important Cultural Places.

Tour leader: Bill Nicholson (Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council Inc)


9.00 am Bus pick up from The Pullman Melbourne on the Park (1 hour trip)

10.00 am Mt William axe quarry tour begins (3 hour tour)

1.30 pm Lunch - Aspy Cafe, Lancefield

2.30 pm Bus trip back to Pullman Melbourne on the Park (1 hour trip)

Tour of Budj Bim Cultural Landscape

Saturday 9th - Sunday 10th December 2017

Cost: $310.00 (Including twin share accommodation and meals are not included)

A minimum of 16 bookings is required for this tour to proceed.  If minimum numbers are not reached the tour will be cancelled and a full refund will be offered

Breakfast options from $15pp

Dinner at the Quality Hotel Bentinck Bar & Bistro

This overnight tour of Budj Bim Cultural Landscape introduces participants to an outstanding Aboriginal place which is in the process of being nominated for World Heritage listing.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, located in South West Victoria, includes evidence of one of the world’s largest and oldest aquaculture systems, dating to about 6,600 years ago. At the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, Aboriginal people used the abundant local volcanic rock to construct fish traps, weirs and ponds to manage water flows from nearby Lake Condah to exploit short finned eels (Anguilla australis) and other fish as a food source. 

Gunditjmara people have a continuous association with the landscape, dating from before European contact and settlement to the present. This was recognised in a native title determination in 2007 in which the Australian Government recognised that Gunditjmara people have an unbroken connection to their traditional lands since before European colonisation (National Native Title Tribunal 2007a). The continuous interrelationship of Gunditjmara people’s cultural systems and the environment is documented through considerable archaeological and historical records, and extensive Gunditjmara cultural knowledge. 

The evidence of Gunditjmara people’s management and manipulation of the environment and natural resources over time at the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape challenges the common perception and assumption of Australia’s First Peoples as having all been hunter-gatherers living in resource constrained environments. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape has contributed to an alternative and much more complex view of Aboriginal economy and lifestyle where people were actively intervening in and managing the productivity of the country on which they were living (Coutts et al 1978, Pascoe 2014). 

During this tour, participants will visit Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), Kurtonitj IPA (traditional stone houses, fish traps), Lake Condah Mission and the Muldoon's aquaculture system - the oldest in the world. There will be an overnight stay in Portland, before participants return to Melbourne the next morning.

Tour leaders: Denis Rose and/or Tyson Lovett-Murray (Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation).


Saturday 9th December

7.00 am Bus Pick up from Pullman Melbourne on the Park – Travel to Budj Bim (4 hour trip with one stop)

11.30am Lunch - Macarthur Pub, MacArthur 

1.00 pm Meet Tyrendarra IPA (Indigenous Protected Area) Taylors Road Tyrendarra

1.15 pm – 2.00 pm Interpretation and walk around Tyrendarra IPA

2.00 pm – 3.00 pm Travel to Kurtonitj IPA - View the traditional stone houses and aquaculture system (fish traps)

3.00 pm – 4.00 pm Travel to Lake Condah Mission and afternoon tea

4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Travel to Lake Condah and have a walk to the Muldoon’s aquaculture system (the world’s oldest aquaculture system)

5.30 pm Bus to Quality Hotel Bentinck

Sunday 10th December

8.00 am Bus from Quality Hotel Bentinck to Pullman Melbourne on the Park (4 hour trip with one stop - returning at approximately 12.30pm)

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