Welcome to Country
Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin AO
I begin by paying respect to all Ancestors, Elders and communities across this great continent and indeed our neighbouring islands. Each of our communities have their own way of welcoming people to Country. The Wurundjeri are known as the Manna Gum people and for us it is about the beautiful eucalypt leaf that was used in traditional ceremony. But it’s important to say, that right now there’s not enough moisture in those leaves and we’re losing the beautiful koala. What have we done to this Earth? What are we going to continue to do to this Earth? Or will we help to change it?
We ask you, when you’re walking on Country to stop at a Manna Gum, or another eucalypt that is accessible, and take a leaf. Accepting that leaf means that you are welcome to everything from the tops of the trees to the roots of the Earth and we thank you, because you’ve now joined with us to honour the spirits of our Ancestors, who have nurtured this land, right here at Tarrawarra, for thousands and thousands of years. And we have a responsibility together to continue to nurture what we’ve all been given, the gift of the land.
My language is the Woiwurrung: Wominjeka Wurundjeri balluk yearmenn koondee bik (Welcome to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people).
Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin AO is the senior Wurundjeri Elder of the Kulin Nation in Victoria and a Traditional Owner of the Melbourne and Yarra Valley region.