Five new interpretive signs using the Woiwurrung language have been installed along the Lilydale to Warburton Trail to connect the community to Wurundjeri culture and language.
The panels featuring text, images and audio were developed by the Yarra Ranges Council in consultation with Wurundjeri woman, Brooke Wandin, to tell Wurundjeri stories in their own language and to promote and preserve the Woiwurrung language.
The two Wurundjeri women, Mandy Nicholson and Brooke Wandin contributed voice-overs to some of the panels and Brooke said they were designed to weave the Woiwurrung language into the fabric of Yarra Ranges communities.
“Our language contains a lot of information about the past and is extremely important because it carries more than words, but also the law, the family, the connection with the country, the dance and the song.”
“All Victorian indigenous languages are endangered and at risk of extinction, so I hope these signs will help raise awareness and spark curiosity in people so they can find out more about our language themselves.”
The audio panels which are also solar powered have been designed to be easily accessible with an interactive audio push button playing pre-recorded stories, songs and language in the Woiwurrung language.
Located along the Warburton Rail trail, these signs can be found at Woori Yallock, Launching Place and Mount Evelyn.
Yarra Ranges Council Mayor Jim Child said these signs highlight and bring to life the stories and histories of Wurundjeri.
“These panels are not only a great addition to the trail, but a glimpse into some of our country’s oldest and most important stories, providing trail users with a special opportunity to learn about the Wurundjeri culture and the Woiwurrung language in a beautiful natural environment and in a very accessible way.
“The five interpretive panels bring local stories to interpret and strengthen our bond with the original keepers of this land and their rich cultural heritage and spiritual connection to this land.”
“We are extremely grateful for the guidance and support of Wurundjeri women Brooke Wandin and Mandy Nicholson whose knowledge of the Woiwurrung language and their contribution to this project will hopefully draw more attention to the Woiwurrung language and contribute to its revitalization. .”