Birrarung Wilam (River Camp) - Aboriginal Walking Tour
Experience the Aboriginal history of the Birrarung (River of Mists - Yarra River) and the Aboriginal Peoples of the Kulin Nation, in the heart of Narrm (Melbourne), Victoria. You’ll start at the Koorie Heritage Trust with a guided walk through exhibitions and art galleries and a hands-on experience with artefacts before walking through Federation Square and down to the Birrarung Wilam (Common Ground) Aboriginal art installation.
Koorie Heritage Trust, Yarra Building Federation Square, Cnr of Flinders and Swanston Streets Melbourne, Victoria 3000.
What to expect
With one of our friendly Aboriginal guides, you will learn how the land on which Melbourne is located has changed over time and about the significance of the Birrarung (Yarra River) to the local Kulin peoples.
You will learn the impact of colonisation and settlement on the traditional landscape and life of the Kulin peoples and how the local Aboriginal people maintain a significant presence in Melbourne today and continue to practice their culture.
You will gain a deeper and more meaningful understanding of this incredible location - an important gathering place for the Kulin Nation and one of Melbourne’s most popular meeting hubs.
The experience provides the opportunity to listen and discuss with one of our Aboriginal guides their own experience as an Aboriginal person in Melbourne today and their perspective on Australia’s history.
What is included
This is a 1 hour tour which operates every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, departing at 1.00pm and returning at 2.00pm.
Please click the Book Now button to check availability and current pricing.
Entry is free to the Koorie Heritage Trust, based at Federation Square, and visitors can experience our collections (the largest in southern Australia), galleries and art exhibitions.
Weather considerations in regards to heat or rain are in place for the outdoor sections of the tours. Visitors are expected to ensure their own safety in relation to heat such as appropriate head covering, sunscreen and water. Tours will operate in light rain and visitors will be expected to provide their own appropriate protection including wet weather clothing and umbrellas. In extreme heat or heavy rain, tours will not run and visitors will be notified and refunded.
The tour is accessible for visitors with limited mobility including elevator access to the KHT collections level and ramp access from Federation Square down to the Yarra River.
Your guide will meet you at the Koorie Heritage Trust, Yarra Building Federation Square, Cnr of Flinders and Swanston Streets Melbourne. Please arrive 10 mins prior to departure time.
What to bring
- Water bottle
YOUR EXPERIENCE PROVIDER
Koorie Heritage Trust
Established in 1985, the Koorie Heritage Trust is a bold and innovative not-for-profit First Nations owned and managed arts and cultural organisation Located in the heart of Narrm (Melbourne), at Federation Square by the banks of Birrarung (River of Mists - Yarra River).
The Koorie Heritage Trust has a mandate to foster an understanding and appreciation of Victoria’s Aboriginal culture by providing opportunities for all people to learn, connect and re-connect with the living cultural heritage of Aboriginal Victoria, originating from a 60,000-year-old history. Our location at Federation Square is a recognition of our shared history and the importance of Koorie peoples as part of a broader 21st century community.
To live in a society where Aboriginal culture and history are a fundamental part of Victorian life.
To promote, support and celebrate the continuing journey of the Aboriginal people of South Eastern Australia.
Our motto “GNOKAN DANNA MURRA KOR-KI”
Our motto groups two Koorie languages (Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta) and means “Give me your hand my friend”.
The clasped black and white hands in our logo represents Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people joining in goodwill and cooperation. The logo represents the “bridging of the cultural gap” and reflects our belief that through education and promotion, we can raise awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of Victorian Aboriginal culture and work towards the broader goal of reconciliation for all Australians.
Our values and commitment
Respect, Honesty, Reciprocity and Curiosity.
The Koorie Heritage Trust is committed to creating a safe space for all people to learn about and to help us promote, support and celebrate the continuing journey of the Aboriginal people of South Eastern Australia. As part of this commitment, the Koorie Heritage Trust recognises and is committed to implementing the Victorian Child Safe Standards to ensure child safety and wellbeing is embedded in all our programs and services.
Our programs and services
We offer a range of programs and services including:
- the only public collection in Victoria dedicated solely to Koorie art and culture comprising artefacts, pictures and photographs as well as a Oral History Program and a Reference Library;
- a cultural education service that includes guided walking tours, cultural competency training and programs developed specifically for schools and educators; an annual exhibition program with an emphasis on showcasing young and emerging Victorian Aboriginal art and artists;
- a Koorie Family History Service;
- a retail shop dedicated exclusively to showcasing the uniqueness of Victorian Aboriginal art and design.
- meeting rooms for hire with balcony access and views of the Yarra River and Federation Square.
We are endorsed as a deductible gift recipient and continue to receive generous funding support from bequests, private donors, trusts and foundations, and from government grants and corporate sponsorship.
Koorie/ Koori/ Gurri
Koorie/Koori/Gurri is a generic term used by contemporary Aboriginal people and communities of Victoria and Southern New South Wales to identify and differentiate themselves from Aboriginal groups from other parts of Australia. Aboriginal people and communities in Queensland refer to themselves as Murris, Nunga in South Australia and Nyoongar in southern Western Australia.
All images: Visit Victoria