Aboriginal Cultural Heritage rediscovered at Taylors Rock,Mount Arapiles- Tooan State Park
The members of Parks Victoria’s Climbing Roundtable have expressed enthusiasm for the potential this discovery holds to increase the value of a special State Park where climbing & cultural heritage can co-exist.
Parks Victoria and Barengi Gadjin Land Council have just released a joint media release that Aboriginal cultural heritage, including rock art, has been rediscovered at a site called Taylors Rock (Declaration Crag) in Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park.
“Rock art sites holding dozens of painted motifs, plus artefact scatters and quarry sites make up this remarkable collection on the traditional lands of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk peoples, who have cared for this Country for thousands of years.”
The sites have been added to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register, and Parks Victoria and Barengi Gadjin Land Council, who co-manage the park, have a legislated responsibility to protect the area from visitor impacts.
Traditional Owners and Parks Victoria are inviting stakeholders and visitors to help protect and communicate the rediscovery, and celebrate the area’s rich Aboriginal history. Parks Victoria and Barengi Gadjin Land Council plan to discuss with rock climbers, local tour operators, community groups and other stakeholders cultural heritage protections at Taylors Rock.
The identification and registration of Cultural Heritage sites at Taylors Rock is exciting news for our Traditional Owners, the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk peoples.
We have Cultural Obligations to ensure the protection of these sites within the Dyurrite Cultural Landscape, as we and our Ancestors before us have done for tens of thousands of years.
Their protection is supported by the Aboriginal Heritage Act and Regulations, in which our organisation, Barengi Gadjin Land Council, is recognised and has responsibilities for managing and protecting Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.
We hope that visitors to Dyurrite respect our wishes and avoid entering this particular location to ensure its protection.
Stuart Harradine, Manager of On Country Operations – Barengi Gadjin Land Council
Rock art sites holding dozens of painted motifs, plus artefact scatters and quarry sites make up this remarkable collection on the traditional lands of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk peoples, that require protections under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
While longer-term protections are explored, we’re asking visitors to respectfully stay off Taylors Rock.
We appreciate that Taylors Rock has previously been a popular spot for rock climbers and tour operators. It’s our hope that the rock-climbing community, Traditional Owners and land managers can all work together to protect, celebrate and communicate this rich Aboriginal history.
Matthew Jackson, Chief Executive Officer–Parks Victoria.