Indigenous Interpretive Garden at Central Goldfields Art Gallery

Woman conducting Breaking Ground Ceremony

Indigenous Interpretive Garden project now underway

DJAARA (the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation) and its enterprise DJANDAK came together in February for a breaking ground ceremony at the site of Maryborough’s new Indigenous Interpretive Garden, together with the Central Goldfields Shire Council and funding partners.

Jointly funded by the Victorian Government and Council, the Garden will sit alongside the Central Goldfields Art Gallery in the open space on the corner of Neill and Campbell Streets.

Dja Dja Wurrung Group CEO Rodney Carter said the Garden has been designed collaboratively with Dja Dja Wurrung Elders and artists who formed a wartaka or advisory group.

“Through this collaboration, Dja Dja Wurrung People are sharing culture with the broader community: weaving their story and reflecting the natural elements of Dja Dja Wurrung Country,” Mr Carter said.

“Practising Culture is healing for Dja Dja Wurrung People and creating this space will help the healing of ‘upside-down Country’.

"The Garden will strengthen relationships between people and Country and provide opportunities for non-Indigenous community members to learn about Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and our shared responsibility to protect it,” Mr Carter said.

The Garden will be a public place inviting the whole community to come together in a spirit of reconciliation to understand and celebrate culture.

Central Goldfields Shire Mayor Cr Liesbeth Long said it was fantastic to see such a significant project for the Shire, on Dja Dja Wurrung Country, reach the next exciting stage.

“I think what sets this project apart from others is the partnership that has formed between Council and DJAARA. We’ve been working on this project since October 2021 and at the heart of this project is the principle of listening and working together with the Traditional Owners of the land we are on.

“Our vision is that the Garden will be a welcoming space for our local community and visitors to our Shire to come and reflect, learn and share culture as part of an active and engaged approach to reconciliation. I’m looking forward to seeing the project transpire over the coming months.”

Once complete, the Indigenous Interpretive Garden will be accessible via the Gallery and a separate street entrance. The project is expected to be complete mid-2024.