ABORIGINAL history and the cultural values of the Wimmera River was documented as part of a new initiative in the region.
Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and Barengi Gadjin Land Council have co-ordinated the project, called ‘Community Gathering - River Yarns’.
Authority community delivery manager Joel Boyd said the project was about working with the community about their aspirations for the river.
He said the project mapped cultural sites and artefacts as well as identified projects and economic development opportunities in the region.
“Last week a group of community members visited sites all along the river and they will come up with a list of projects to develop the area further,” he said.
“The state government has an emphasis on supporting Aboriginal communities.”
Aboriginal groups, community groups, historical societies and local and state government representatives visited parts of the river at Horsham, Dimboola, Antwerp and Jeparit, before continuing to Lake Hindmarsh, Outlet Creek and Lake Albacutya.
Mr Boyd said there was a great turnout of people involved.
He said the projects suggested by the community would look at ways to benefit the economy in the region and create jobs.
“We also encourage other people involved in the Aboriginal community, who weren’t able to attend the sessions, to let us know their ideas for the river,” he said.
“We have a lot of young people in the community becoming increasing involved in cultural research, which is great because they are the next generation of leaders.”
The initiative is part of the Wimmera River Aboriginal Water Project, which brings together groups and individuals to officially document cultural information in the region using an Aboriginal Waterway Assessment tool.
The project is funded through the state government’s Water for Victoria program, which aims to increase the involvement of Aboriginal communities in water resource decision making.