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Love Letters to Dja Dja Wurrung Country Larrak Dja Dja Wurrung Kundidja Home of the Dja Dja Wurrung People Published by Regional Centre for Culture 2018 Regional Centre for Culture 2018 © All Rights Reserved Editors: Jo Porter & Elizabeth Walsh Copy Editor: Dominika Balwin Publication Coordinator: Bridget Robertson Design and Layout: Inkt Creative Printing: bART ‘n’ PRINt Photography Opening event images: Bill Conroy YAPENYA images: Aunty Linda Ford Love Letters to Country Community Workshops Co-ordinator Community Participation: Rose Vincent Assistant: Rebecca MacDonald Artwork and Letters by Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative Bendigo Girl Guides Bendigo South East College City of Greater Bendigo Councillors and Employees CreateAbility Crusoe College Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation Eaglehawk Community House Nursing home residents, Flora Hill Hazara Women’s Group Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services Old Church on the Hill ISBN 978-0-646-99041-5

The Regional Centre for Culture is a Victorian Government Initiative

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Contents The Location The Program Letter from Traditional Owner, Rodney Carter Message from the Minister for Creative Industries Opening Event YAPENYA The Letters Event Credits RCC Partners and Credits RCC 2018 Team References

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Location The Regional Centre for Culture 2018 (RCC 2018) program has taken place across four municipalities on Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Country.

Bendigo GREATER BENDIGO

Dunolly

Heathcote Maldon Maryborough

Castlemaine

MOUNT ALEXANDER

CENTRAL GOLDFIELDS

HEPBURN

Daylesford

Project Location Dja Dja Wurrung Country Taungurung Country Melbourne

Program The RCC 2018 is a Victorian Government initiative through Creative Victoria in partnership with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, Central Goldfields Shire, the City of Greater Bendigo, Hepburn Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.The program aims have been to: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Recognise and profile the rich history and contemporary presence of Victoria’s Aboriginal people. Deliver economic benefit through generating cultural attractions, which drive tourism. Create increased local access to arts and cultural experiences in regional communities, including smaller communities. Create significant new works that tell local stories. Facilitate capacity building opportunities for local creative practitioners and organisations.

These aims have been achieved via grant programs and other Creative Victoria initiatives and projects delivered by the Producers of RCC 2018. Together, the projects have formed a yearlong program encapsulated by a very broad definition of culture and values of celebration, humour, curiosity, intellect, respect, diversity and adventure.

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Letter from Traditional Owner, Rodney Carter

14 February 2018 I love you and I cannot stop, I do not want to stop. You are never far from my thoughts, and never distract me from what I must do, you make me stronger. My thoughts of you make my breath a sigh of happiness, my skin tingle, I even smile when no one is around as you are with me. But what are you? The history and stories of my ancestors, that have made me. My family that I have shared my life’s journey with. The children I have nurtured. The community we strive to protect. The land that sustains us. You are all of these things and more, you are the present and future, and helped me put the pieces of my life together when they were broken, you are a gift that I cherish and give me purpose. Of course, you are my Love, you are my Partner, you are my Friend, and Dorma Neane Yalka. You are my Widy. Rodney Carter Traditional Owner CEO, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation

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Message from the Minister for Creative Industries

Victoria is the creative state, made up of creative regions, creative communities and creative people. The Regional Centre for Culture program celebrates this by shining a light on one geographic region for one year, celebrating local creativity, culture and community in all their diversity. There was no better place to start than in central Victoria, on parts of the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung, in an area that spans from Mollongchip to Whipstick and from Heathcote to Maryborough. This is a region with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant contemporary culture. It is one of Australia’s most creative regions, at the heart of the creative state. It’s also an area that is loved by many. Read on to see the letters that were submitted for the launch event and learn more about this region. I hope they inspire you to discover more about the area during the Regional Centre for Culture celebrations, and beyond. Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

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OPENING EVENT During early 2018, the RCC’s residents were invited to write love letters to the region where they live, love and return home. This publication contains a selection of the hundreds of love letters contributed. The letters were also used to create rivers at the base of a new sculpture entitled Heart, created by Felipe Reynolds and Traditional Owner Racquel Kerr, whose design of Bunjil’s wings incorporates the region’s waterways.

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Heart and the love letters formed a focal point of the Regional Centre for Culture’s launch on Valentine’s Day 2018. Love Letters to the Heart of Victoria was a free, family-friendly public event in Rosalind Park, Bendigo. With Racquel Kerr and Rhianna Kerr doing the honours as MCs, the evening featured a moving Dja Dja Wurrung presentation, music, roving performances, visual art installations and kids activities.


YAPENYA Love Letters to the Heart of Victoria commenced with a Welcome to Country by Rodney Carter, Traditional Owner and CEO of the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation. Following the welcome Rodney announced a significant new ceremony, YAPENYA, that will be undertaken by the Djaara (People) as part of the RCC program. “YAPENYA is song, dance, language, ceremony and most importantly, YAPENYA is Dja Dja Wurrung. YAPENYA is the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Dja Dja Wurrung Recognition and Settlement Agreement and we celebrate together, and we invite you to join us.” Rodney Carter Traditional Owner CEO, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation The announcement was followed by a smoking ceremony and ceremonial performance by Aunty Fay Carter, Wendy Berick, Trent Nelson, Michael Bourke, Will Bourke, Vanessa Charles, Lachie Wopau, Noah Wopau, Racquel Kerr, Tori Kerr, Natasha Charles and Amos Atkinson.

The faces of YAPENYA – Brenda Kerr, Trent Nelson, Graham Atkinson, Marilyne Nicholls, Tori Kerr, Harley Dunolly-Lee – represent the Dja Dja Wurrung People, who have been present on this Country for more than 60,000 years. YAPENYA will be staged in Rosalind Park on November 17, 2018.

Images page 6 Top: Rosalind Park 14th February 2018 Middle left: Dja Dja Wurrung ceremony Middle right: The Seduceaphones Bottom left: Dilini De Silva Bottom right: Ice Cream Social

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Dear City of Bendigo I came from Thailand and to Bendigo with my family when I was 13 years old. When we first came to Bendigo everything was new for my family. We saw big buildings that were very different from the refugee camp. In Bendigo I like going to the park with my friends. In Noe Poe Camp we didn’t have big parks like here. In Bendigo I like playing soccer with my friends. Soccer here s also different to playing soccer in Noe Poe amp because we didn’t have shoes in the refugee camp. I like Bendigo. Thank you for welcoming us. From Kaw

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Event Credits Love Letters to the Heart of Victoria February 14, 2018 Rosalind Park, Bendigo Welcome to Country by Rodney Carter, Traditional Owner Main Stage MCs: Racquel Kerr and Rhianna Kerr Dja Dja Wurrung ceremonial performance by Aunty Fay Carter Wendy Berick Trent Nelson Michael Bourke Will Bourke Vanessa Charles Lachie Wopau Noah Wopau Racquel Kerr Tori Kerr Natasha Charles Amos Atkinson Other performances by DJ Wind-Up Guru Dudu Dilini De Silva Rachel By the Stream Leeway The Seduceaphones League of Kindness Gherkin Khan’s Amusement Alcazar by The Village Visual Arts Animal Installations: Tom Rippon Heart: Designed through collaboration between Felipe Reynolds & Racquel Kerr. Made by Airena. Site dÊcor & coordination: Darryl Cordell Crew and Staff Credits Site Manager/Rigger: Paul Kavanagh Stage Manager: Liberty Gilbert Assistant Stage Manager, Music Stage: Leonie Van Eyk Assistant Stage Manager, Roving Entertainment: David Plathe Assistant Manager, Silent Disco: Cassandra Gledhill Site Crew: Rob Ramsay, Jimmy Naylor and Ben Van Dillen Letters admin: Old Church on the Hill

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RCC Partners and Credits Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation The Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation represents the Traditional Owners of the land on which the RCC 2018 is taking place. The Corporation has been funded by Creative Victoria to hire a part time staff member to liaise with the RCC Producers, Creative Victoria and others, and to present YAPENYA: part celebration, part dance and part ceremony taking place in Rosalind Park, Bendigo, on November 17, 2018. Creative Victoria Creative Victoria is the face of the Victorian government with respect to the RCC 2018 program, its success and its governance. Creative Victoria is driving specifically funded grant and commission outcomes throughout the RCC area. Artlands Victoria, the biennial Regional Arts Australia conference, and Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Emerge Cultural Hub Bendigo form important elements of the RCC 2018 program. City of Greater Bendigo The City of Greater Bendigo is located in the geographic centre of Victoria, covering almost 3,000 square kilometres with a growing population of more than 110,000. Bendigo is a vibrant contemporary regional centre, boasting beautiful streets created from one of the world’s greatest gold rushes. The municipality includes the thriving smaller communities of Heathcote, Elmore, Goornong, Marong, Redesdale and Axedale. Bendigo is a service and infrastructure centre for north central Victoria, and surrounded by 40,000 hectares of regional, state and national parkland. The Aboriginal people of the area are the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung language groups of the Central Kulin nation. Central Goldfields Shire Central Goldfields Shire covers 1,532 square kilometres and has an estimated residential population of just over 12,500 people. Maryborough is the shire’s major business centre with a population of around 7,500. In recent years Maryborough has gained recognition as having some of the finest sporting facilities in regional Victoria, together with significant historical buildings dating back to the gold mining era of the 1850s. Other towns in the shire include Bealiba, Carisbrook, Dunolly, Majorca, Talbot, Bowenvale-Timor and the rural districts surrounding these centres. All are famous for their heritage architecture and significant agricultural industries. Hepburn Shire Hepburn Shire is a prominent regional centre renowned for its natural beauty and mineral springs reserves. The main centres include Daylesford, Hepburn Springs, Creswick, Clunes and Trentham, each with their own share of history and natural features. Trentham is home to Trentham Falls, Victoria’s highest single drop waterfall; Creswick has carved out a name for itself as the home of forestry; and Clunes was the first registered gold strike town in the state, which is still reflected in the streetscape today. Mount Alexander Shire Mount Alexander Shire has beautiful heritage streetscapes, picturesque townships and stunning natural surroundings, with a population of 18,000 residents inhabiting an area of 1,529 square kilometres. The thriving community, including Castlemaine, Harcourt, Newstead and Maldon, boasts a strong local economy and vibrant cultural life. The recreational amenities include swimming pools, a skate park, Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, sporting clubs and playgrounds. RCC Producers In July 2017 Jo Porter and Elizabeth Walsh were announced as the Producers of the RCC 2018. Together they have produced, coordinated, supported and promoted many of the RCC’s range of programs and events across 2018. The programs produced have included a major event in each of the participating municipalities. Love Letters was the first of these events and kicked off the year of activities. It was envisaged as an opportunity for the people of the region to express their feelings about the Country where they live in a Valentine’s letter.

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RCC 2018 Team Producers: Jo Porter & Elizabeth Walsh Office & Stakeholder Management: Dominika Balwin Operations Management: Kelly Harrington & Bianca Eden Governance & Leadership Advisor: Peter Matthews Research & Projects (Music to July 2018): James Rigby Research & Projects (to December 2017): Verity Higgins Research & Projects (Podcasts): Graham Pitts Program Manager (This Is‌ [the RCC]): Sam Thomas Mentored Project: Wide Open Road Art Administration: Auspicious Arts Projects Inc Marketing & Communications: Willett Marketing Pty Ltd Publicity: Prue Bassett Publicity Photography: Sarah Walker Community Liaison Photo Shoot: Sam Thomas & Stephen Nicolazzo Photographic Documentation: Bill Conroy Video Documentation: Ideas Agency Audio Documentation: Genevieve Barlow Website Design: High Voltage Studios Governance, Working and Marketing Group members: Creative Victoria: Jane Crawley, Jeremy Gaden, Rohini Sharma, Nicole McLean Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation: Rodney Carter, Barbara Huggins, Mariaa Randall City of Greater Bendigo: Bernie O’Sullivan, David Lloyd, Glenn Harvey, Maree Tonkin Hepburn Shire: Amanda Western, Nate Perry, Rebecca Pedretti, Maria Abate Central Goldfields Shire: Kay Parkin, Michael Grant, Kate Bucknall, Joel Chadwick Mount Alexander Shire: David Leathem, Kara Finlay, Vicki Anderson, Claire Baker Regional Arts Victoria: Ros Abercrombie, Ella Bucovaz Multicultural Arts Victoria: Jill Morgan, Andy Miller & Forest Keegel Visit Victoria: Monique George Regional Development Victoria: David Tripp Additional Thanks Creative Victoria: Lainie Kluska & Ruth Gormley City of Greater Bendigo: Anne Henshall, Shelley Slade, Terry Karamaloudis, Raph Beh, Dawn Holland, Stephen Henderson Regional Arts Victoria: Joe Toohey & Liz Zito Optical Audio: Jason Read & Kieran Lang

References/Relevant websites and reference material Regional Centre for Culture 2018: www.rcc2018.com Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation: www.djadjawurrung.com.au Creative Victoria: www.creative.vic.gov.au City of Greater Bendigo: www.bendigo.vic.gov.au Central Goldfields Shire: www.centralgoldfields.com.au Hepburn Shire: www.hepburn.vic.gov.au Shire of Mount Alexander: www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au Regional Arts Victoria: www.rav.net.au Multicultural Arts Victoria: www.multiculturalarts.com.au Visit Victoria: www.visitvictoria.com Regional Development Victoria: www.rdv.vic.gov.au

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Love Letters to Dja Dja Wurrung Country  

On Valentine’s Day 2018, this year an event we called “Love Letters to the Heart of Central Victoria” kicked off the Regional Centre of Cult...

Love Letters to Dja Dja Wurrung Country  

On Valentine’s Day 2018, this year an event we called “Love Letters to the Heart of Central Victoria” kicked off the Regional Centre of Cult...

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