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Tapping into Ballarat’s Wadawurrung heritage

14 May 2019

This Ballarat Heritage Weekend we’re celebrating the history, cultures and stories of our local Aboriginal peoples.

The City of Ballarat’s Events Team has shifted the focus of Ballarat Heritage Weekend 2019 to one of storytelling and experience, tapping into authentic Wadawurrung stories told by those who know it best.

The team, in collaboration with the local Wadawurrung community, has organised a series of offerings, exhibitions and more to celebrate the region’s Aboriginal history and heritage.

Some of these highlights include:


Aboriginal Short Film Festival and gathering
The off-street carpark in Armstrong Street North will be transformed into a celebration of Aboriginal cultures with a range of fire pits, yarning circles, entertainment and a short film festival.
The Aboriginal Short Film Festival will showcase a range of films and documentaries highlighting Aboriginal cultural heritage, shared history and social justice.
There will also be a range of informative and engaging discussions from Traditional Custodian Tammy Gilson, among others.
You won’t want to miss this incredible ode to Ballarat’s first heritage.
WHEN: Saturday
WHERE: Armstrong Street North carpark
TIME: 5.30pm onwards
COST: Free


Aboriginal cultural exhibition at the Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute
The Humffray Room at the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute will house an educational and interactive exhibition where you can immerse yourself in the history and heritage of Victoria’s Aboriginal people and enjoy some bush tea and other authentic and unique culinary experiences courtesy of Saltbush Kitchen.
Working in conjunction with Federation University Aboriginal Education Centre, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative and other engaged community groups, this display aims to share with you the stories from the Nation’s First Peoples and their history and current day contributions within Ballarat and wider Victoria.
WHEN: Saturday & Sunday
WHERE: Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute, The Humffray Room (Level 1)
TIME: 10am – 5pm
COST: Free

While you’re visiting the Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute you may want to pop into the Minerva Space.
Ballarat artist Deanne Gilson will lead an Aboriginal Ochre Painting workshop here on Sunday between 10am – 1pm, which includes a series of short talks about the history of the artform and screenings of her short film.

Then, from 1.30pm – 5pm, Barry Gilson will take over the space. Barry will focus on song, music and poetry, performing for audiences throughout his Sunday workshop.

If you’re planning on attending on Saturday, you will catch Federation University’s Dr Fred Cahir.
Dr Cahir will be launching his latest book My Country All Gone, The White Men Have Stolen It.
His book details the invasion of Wadawurrung Country between 1800-1870 and will form part of the Aboriginal cultural exhibition on Saturday.

For more information about this year’s Ballarat Heritage Weekend visit: ballaratheritageweekend.com

The City of Ballarat is proud to organise the Ballarat Heritage Weekend, an event that goes to the core of our Events Strategy and Creative City Strategy.

Quotes attributable to Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh:

“We recognise Ballarat’s Aboriginal peoples – past and present – form a huge part of the city we all know today, and we’re extremely proud to be able to work with our local Wadawurrung community to celebrate their stories, heritage and culture this Ballarat Heritage Weekend.

You have told us you want to know more about this part of our region’s past, so we’re proud to provide an avenue for our local Aboriginal community to share their stories with you.

To have the likes of Tammy, Deanne and others sharing their stories with us gives our visitors and community members insight into an element of our history and heritage they may not be aware of.”