Geelong’s changing skyline over the last decade has shown us that everything is possible. Committee for Geelong member, Villawood Properties, uniquely positioned words sitting on the Barrabool Hills capture motorist’s attention as they travel to, from and around Geelong.
Earlier this year, the Committee for Geelong 2019/20 Leaders for Geelong program participants began developing the scopes of the 2020 community projects. One of the project concepts, put forward by Paul Davis, CEO of Wadawurrung titled, ‘Promoting Djilang’, was submitted based on the rationale that “before European settlement, the area that is now known as Geelong, was an Aboriginal place. Of course it still is, but its Aboriginal identity is largely overlooked and certainly undersold”, Mr Davis said. The brief to program participants was, “let’s recognise and celebrate Aboriginal places, identity and spirit”. Traditional Owners of the Geelong region, the Wadawurrung people were the first peoples to occupy this land. In considering Mr Davis’ comment, the group approached Villawood with the idea to make the quintessential metal letters in the Barrabool Hills home to the words ‘Wadawurrung Country’.
Leaders for Geelong program participant John O’Shannassy, Project Manager at Josco Civil Pty Ltd said, “Villawood’s iconic words are often a talking of point of Geelong… Our challenge is to increase the awareness, recognition, understanding and appreciation from Geelong locals and (its) visitors, that here in ‘Djilang’, the Wadawurrung people have lived for many years.”
Committee for Geelong CEO Jennifer Cromarty said, “As we commence this year’s National Reconciliation Week, the ‘Wadawurrung Country’ words overlooking the Ring Road further remind us of the need for greater acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. Through a simple idea of our Leaders for Geelong program participants, and in collaboration with Committee for Geelong member Villawood, this initiative is well-positioned to increase awareness of Geelong’s first peoples.”
Jennifer Cromarty – CEO, Committee for Geelong
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