Wadawurrung Traditional Owners join Geelong revitalisation

Wadawurrung Traditional Owners will be taking a central role in the planning, design and implementation of a range of projects in Central Geelong.

Victorian Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas today met with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (WTOAC) to announce $400,000 of funding through the Geelong City Deal to support Traditional Owners to play a pivotal part in Revitalising Central Geelong (RCG) projects.

The WTOAC will employ a project manager for two years to work within the RCG partnership to enable this important collaboration.

The project manager will take part in the RCG Action Plan projects, helping to deliver the Barwon Regional Partnership priority of embracing and embedding Aboriginal culture throughout the region.

The funding will also enable the WTOAC to commence the development of the Wadawurrung Urban Design Guidelines that celebrates Wadawurrung living culture and Wadawurrung cultural values, which will inform the planning, design, and delivery of future built environment projects in central Geelong.

The WTOAC has been working closely with Geelong City Deal partners, particularly with those projects under the RCG commitment.

The Geelong City Deal is a $382 million commitment between the Australian and Victorian governments and the City of Greater Geelong to revitalise the city and regional economy, encouraging visitors to spend more time in the region by capitalising on its natural assets.

Revitalising Central Geelong projects will improve the vibrancy, liveability and amenity of central Geelong for residents, workers, students and visitors.

For more information on the Geelong City Deal visit infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/geelong/.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas:

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, giving them a strong voice in the design of projects in Geelong’s city centre. It places regional Victoria at the forefront of urban design embedding Aboriginal culture.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher:

“By having a project manager from the WTOAC working directly with the RCG partnership, they will have the opportunity to advise and influence the scope, design and output of projects, including facilitating the broader WTOAC’s input and representation in RCG projects under the Geelong City Deal.”

Quotes attributable to State Member for Geelong Christine Couzens:

“Having Traditional Owners involved in all major projects is more than a matter of respect. The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners involvement in all City Deal projects will ensure developments respectfully acknowledge culture, which will attract locals and visitors to our city.”

Quotes attributable to Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson:

“The Geelong City Deal is transforming our region through meaningful community, event and tourism infrastructure inspired by our diverse natural environment and rich cultural heritage. The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation’s views, insights and vital cultural knowledge will bring great value to the continuing transformation of our great city.”

Quotes attributable to City of Greater Geelong Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan:

“Greater Geelong is on Wadawurrung Country, with history stretching back tens of thousands of years. It’s important that we take every opportunity to work with the Traditional Owners to recognise and celebrate this ancient cultural heritage.”

Quotes attributable to Chief Executive Officer of the Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation Paul Davis:

“With the Geelong City Deal providing over $382 million investment in the region and much of that being on Wadawurrung Country, it’s vital for Wadawurrung Traditional Owners to have a seat at the table and be able to play an active role.”

Media contact:

Minister Thomas: Nadia Dimattina | 0438 701 306 | Nadia.Dimattina@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Minister Fletcher: Erin Forster | 0448 207 414 | Erin.Forster@communications.gov.au

Senator Henderson: Anna Hindson | 0490 441 554 | anna.hindson@aph.gov.au

Deputy Mayor Sullivan: Mark Macgugan | 0400 660 977 | MMacgugan@geelongcity.vic.gov.au