A new rest area to celebrate the cultural heritage
Building better connections between people and spaces beyond road projects.
We implement legacy initiatives across Victoria to create long-lasting effects beyond the improvement of road infrastructures.
As part of the Childs Road Upgrade, we built a new rest area on the southern side of the new Darebin Creek bridge, where the new walking and cycling path connects to the Darebin Creek Trail. To celebrate the cultural heritage of the area, we featured an Aboriginal mosaic pavement alongside the interpretive signage.
By opening a new space near the bridge, Darebin Creek Lookout legacy project will bring locals and visitors a new perspective to enjoy Darebin Creek's environment and cultural heritage. The new open area includes:
- native trees
- a drinking fountain and dog water bowl
- a bike repair station
- reuse of recycled timbers and rocks removed as part of the road project construction.
Watch our video from the community opening event.
Celebrating the cultural history of the land
The Mill Park and broader Whittlesea area was originally inhabited by the Aboriginal people of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung clan, particularly along the offshoots of the Plenty, Maribyrnong and Yarra Rivers, including Merri, Edgars and Darebin Creeks.
For tens of thousands of years, the Wurundjeri clan of the Woi-wurrung people have lived on and cared for this land that provided shelter, medicine, food, and water. The concentration of clans in the area invited many opportunities to conduct business, trade, cultural ceremonies, and marriages at local sacred sites.
Today, many traditional and sacred sites have been lost. However, oral history and culture have survived, as have many freshwater shell middens, petroglyphs, scar-trees, sacred trees, stone artefact scatters and burial sites along the Darebin and Merri Creeks and the Birrarung (Yarra River).
We collaborated with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders from the Kulin Nation, Darebin Creek Management Committee, Lalor North Primary School and Secondary College to promote community ownership of this legacy project.
We created better connections between people and their places through educational initiatives about cultural heritage and the environment, including a workshop with local schools, smoking ceremonies, and other cultural heritage performances.
Have your say! campaign
In March 2022, we ran a campaign to raise awareness about this legacy initiative reaching more than 50,000 people in Epping, Lalor and Mill Park.
We involved the locals in selecting some design elements of the new rest area, by asking them to submit online their preference among 3 centrepiece options for an Indigenous artwork design for the mosaic pavement. The artwork’s name is the “Meeting Place” and features the ancient movements and campsites of the Wurundjeri-balluk and Wurundjeri-willam clans along Darebin Creek.
These options were provided by Aboriginal artist Ashley Firebrace and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders had their final say on the selection of the artwork centrepiece.
Members of the community also got to have their say on what type of native trees would be planted in the new rest area, with the Red Ironbark emerging as a clear choice.
The options for the native species were identified in collaboration with the City of Whittlesea and the Darebin Creek Management Committee.
About the artist – Ashley Firebrace
Ashley Firebrace is an Aboriginal artist based in Dandenong, Victoria. In 2007 he received the Lin Onus Award at the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards for a portrait of the Wurundjeri leader and artist William Barak.
|Indigenous design option 1||Red ironbark tree|