Wurundjeri given voice in management of the Birrarung

In a moving and historic moment in the Victorian Parliament in June, Wurundjeri elders addressed the Legislative Assembly in both English and Woi-wurrung language to explain their connection to the Yarra River and the importance of protecting the river for generations to come.

The elders’ statements were made prior to the introduction of the Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Bill 2017.

Wurundjeri elders speak in the Victorian parliament, marking the first time the area’s traditional owners have been invited on to the floor to speak.  Photograph: Jim McFarlane, The Guardian

A new Birrarung Council – comprising traditional owners and representatives from environmental, farming and community bodies – will also be established to advise the government and act as an "independent voice" for the river.

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Watch the full address here