Electronic Copy of Commonwealth Gazette notice

Special Gazette Commonwealth of Australia Gazette
No. S 73, 28 April 2011

Claimed nature of significance
The applicant stated that:

  • The specified area is culturally significant to the Wurundjeri People and recognised as significant by other Traditional Owners in Victoria and interstate. The Wumndjeri People view the specified area as their birthright. 'The Wurundjeri people have maintained an interest in the area for time immemorial and in the whole of the current college grounds [i.e. the specified area] specifically since 1996.
  • The specified area acts as a Gathering Place for Traditional Owners from across Victoria and interstate.
    The specified area contains significant sites and objects, including a Gathering Place, Ceremonial Ground and Spirit Tree. The Spirit Tree is respected and recognised 'as an Elder of the land of particular significance.'
  • The Wurundjeri and other Aboriginal people have conducted many ceremonies in the specified area, including blessing the site and corroborrees. Traditional ceremonies conducted in the area include smoking ceremonies and major cultural Gatherings around the Spirit Tree. The Ceremonial Ground is used for Welcoming and Smoking ceremonies including the Wurundjeri tradition of Tanderrum.
  • The specified area 'represent[s] places of higher spiritual and cultural leaming connecting the People to their Country' through preserving ancient and contemporary traditions through cultural transmission and maintenance.
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette
No. S 73, 28 April 2011
Special Gazette 1
  • The Wurunderi consider that 'this land has always been significant', and state that the 'The land and College is recognised by Victorian Traditional Owners as an Aboriginal Place containing significant cultural heritage and an ongoing Aboriginal connection history underpinned by Aboriginal education strategies'. The Traditional Owners to whom the specified area is culturally significant include 'existing and former students, staff, the School Council, Broadmeadows Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, Emnaraleek Association and Indigenous community groups.
  • The Maori community and other multicultural communities also recognise the Aboriginal Place epitomised in the cultural activities and focus at the site.
  • The land for the new school has not been disturbed since the establishment of the old school site in 1955'. The principal areas for redevelopment have 'been undisturbed since time immemorial'. The area has not been surveyed and there is a high potential of 'Aboriginal Cultural Heritage material and historical heritage material'. Wurundjeri people have identified evidence that the area 'may contain additional cultural materials' as evidenced by recent artefact sites being identified.
  • The college has carried out cultural and education activities since 1995 that reinforce Wurundjeri cultural heritage, traditions and customs. There have been cultural exchanges between Traditional Owners and cultural transmission.
  • The college 'is unique and is also the only Aboriginal School on Wurundjeri Country in Greater Melbourne where Aboriginal People gather for cultural and educational purposes'. The college was 'the first Aboriginal Public School since the 1850's when the William Thomas Aboriginal school was established on the Merri Creek ...'

Claimed threat of injury or desecration
The Applicant stated that the area is under threat of injury and desecration as a result of a decision by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to relocate Glenroy Specialist School onto the College grounds. The relocation involves the demolition of the Ceremonial Grounds and Gathering Place (auditorium and gymnasium) and the desecration of the Spirit Tree on the grounds of the Ballerrt Mooroop College for the construction of new buildings, car parks and bus bays for the Glenroy Specialist School.

Relevant provision
The Minister will consider a report under section 10 of the Act in relation to the area identified for protection before deciding whether to make a declaration under section 10 of the Act. The report will deal with:

  1. the particular significance of the area to Aboriginals;
  2. the nature and extent of the threat of injury to, or desecration of, thu drut-1
  3. the extent of the area that should be protected;
  4. the prohibitions and restrictions to be made with respect to the area;
  5. the effects the making of a declaration may have on the proprietary or pecuniary interests of persons other than the Aboriginal or Aboriginals on whose behalf the application is made;
  6. the duration of any declaration; and