Council’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan was developed with staff, Councillors, our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and representatives from relevant organisations. It guided our commitment to ensuring reconciliation is at the core of our organisation and a foundation for all our services.
Significant Reconciliation Action Plan projects and initiatives implemented to date include:
- Council’s formal recommendation to rename Jim Crow Creek to Larni Barramal Yaluk
- Opening the Manna Gums Frontier Wars Memorial Avenue
- Formal support for the key principles of the Uluru Statement of the Heart
- Cultural awareness training for Council staff
- Recognition of Sorry Day
- Celebration of Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
- Commission of Dja Dja Wurrung public art by Aunty Marilyne Nicholls
- Increased engagement of Traditional Owner decision making in Council’s services, strategies, masterplans and overall vision for Hepburn Shire.
Renaming of Jim Crow Creek to Larni Barramal Yaluk
In April 2022, Council recommended changing the name of a creek which flows between Newstead and Hepburn from Jim Crow Creek to Larni Barramal Yaluk.
Council proposed the name change to:
- Recognise Aboriginal heritage and to reinstate the Dja Dja Wurrung language into the landscape,
- Remove a name that is offensive and derogatory. The term ‘Jim Crow’ is rooted in racial segregation and anti-black racism.
On 11 May 2023, Geographic Names Victoria gazetted the renaming of Jim Crow Creek to Larni Barramal Yalk.
Council has worked closely with the community and project partners Mount Alexander Shire Council, North Central Catchment Management Authority and DJAARA to campaign for the renaming of the creek over many years.
We hosted a renaming ceremony at the Franklinford Streamside Reserve on 18 July 2023. This short video captures the celebration of partnerships and reconciliation at work.
Franklinford Streamside Reserve on 18 July 2023
Manna Gums Frontier Wars Memorial
In July 2021, Council, in partnership with Djaara, opened the first Avenue of Honour to Acknowledge Aboriginal lives lost in defending their traditional lands during early contact and ‘settlement’. The Memorial Avenue is on the Daylesford-Malmsbury Road near Coomoora.
View the ceremony below.
One minute video
16 minute video
The Manna Gums, along the Malmsbury-Daylesford Road in Daylesford, is the site for an Aboriginal Peoples Memorial Avenue, opened at the conclusion of NAIDOC Week 2021.
Cr Lesley Hewitt said the memorial was an opportunity to honour the loss of lives, the sacrifice and suffering inflicted on Aboriginal people during the frontier wars.
“This year’s NAIDOC theme is Heal Country and we hope this Memorial is a step forward in healing Country and healing people, acknowledging that the two are deeply connected.”
“Council is taking a leading role in honouring the lives and acknowledging the suffering of Aboriginal people in our region. Acts of reconciliation such as this, change attitudes to settlement and show a willingness to work together for a better future,” said Cr Hewitt.
The establishment of this Avenue of Honour is a public acknowledgement, the first of its kind in our country.
Rodney Carter, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation CEO, said “The Frontier Wars Memorial Avenue affords a greater recognition to our fallen Ancestors and helps us all heal”.
This is an initiative of the Hepburn Shire Council Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Committee.
‘Peaks, Rivers and Wetlands’
‘Peaks, Rivers and Wetlands’ is a three-part film series about truth telling and reconciling our shared history at contact. The films take viewers on a journey across the landscape with Djaara Elder Uncle Rick Nelson and Professor Barry Golding to environments and events from the early contact period that marked the beginning of unimaginable loss and trauma for Dja Dja Wurrung people.
An initiative of Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Committee, ‘Peaks, Rivers and Wetlands’ was highly commended in the 2021 HART (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together) Awards in the Local Government category.
Welcome to Country – Uncle Rick Nelson welcomes you on to Dja Dja Wurrung lands, to commence your Tour of ‘Peaks, Wetlands and Rivers’.
Peaks, Wetlands and Rivers - PART ONE Mount Greenock
Peaks, Wetlands and Rivers - PART TWO Merin Merin
Peaks, Wetlands and Rivers - PART THREE Loddon River at Neereman
'We’re getting our voice back' video
We’re getting our voice back is a narrated short film, with Uncle Rick Nelson and Professor Barry Golding AM that will take you on a journey of truth, moving across the sites Neereman, Lalgambuk (Mount Franklin) and Coranderrk.
Produced by Daylesford Museum in partnership with Djaara Elder, Uncle Rick Nelson and Hepburn Shire Council.