Makarrata Garden Tarrangower

Created: Friday, 19 January 2018

Regional Centre for Culture 2018 is a year-long celebration of arts, culture and community in Victoria's regions – including right here in Tarrangower! Led by Creative Victoria, the goldfields region is the first region to be in the spotlight.

“We are proud to announce that Maldon Neighbourhood Centre, in close collaboration with local artist Forest Keegel and Dja Dja Wurrung representatives, have been awarded a grant towards Makarrata Garden Tarrangower.” Explains Centre Coordinator, Amy Atkinson.

Makarrata Garden Tarrangower will forge connections between the Tarrangower community and local Indigenous cultural heritage of the original inhabitants, the Dja Dja Wurrung people. The project will comprise of different elements centred around the theme of Makarrata* with a focus on reconciliation through connecting with the land and the local biodiversity of Maldon and traditional cultural practices.

Makarrata Garden Tarrangower wonderful opportunity for people of Maldon to learn about history and living culture of Dja Dja Wurrung people. It has something for everyone: a reading list, guest speakers sharing knowledge about Dja Dja Wurrung Culture, conversations. Hands on activity include basket making with master basket weaver Aunty Marilyne Nicholls, creating sculpture and planting local species at the Neighbourhood Centre and in our own gardens, culminating in a Community Bush Tucker feast and an exhibition of works.

It will be 6 month program of activities commencing in April but you can start reading before then, look out for the Makarrata Garden reading list. Some excellent books have been recently published by historians about the history of settlement on the Goldfields.

 “I think it is important for us as settlers to learn about what happened when our ancestors came to  Central Victoria from 1836 onwards and encountered the world’s oldest living culture. For too long Indigenous people have shouldered the burden of this story as they were whitewashed out of history. Through this project we can learn together about what happened, not to feel guilty but so that we can move on beyond the trauma and work together to care for our environment and local fauna. Connecting with the land by learning about local endangered species the and what people in Maldon can do to help them thrive” says lead artist Forest Keegel.

We want a Makarrata Garden to grow in the hearts and minds of those who live in Tarrangower – strengthening their connection to the land and to the traditional custodians – the Dja Dja Wurrung.

  • Makarrata is much more than just a synonym for treaty. It is a complex Yolngu word describing a process of conflict resolution, peacemaking and justice.