As part of the Victorian Governments $105.6 million commitment to Victoria’s Great Outdoors, $2 million has been committed to develop and improve camping and recreation across greater Bendigo.
As a result, a Dja Dja Wurrung Camping village will be developed in the Bendigo Regional Park adjacent to the No. 7 Park in Kangaroo Flat to provide Victorians with improved outdoor and camping facilities. The Dja Dja Wurrung camping village will be a ‘focal point project’ which aims to showcase Dja Dja Wurrung presence in the landscape in a modern way.
The Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, who are now trading as DJAARA, is leading the planning design and expenditure of the project and will be working closely with partners, Parks Victoria, the City of Greater Bendigo and Coliban Water throughout.
Dja Dja Wurrung people through DJAARA strive to revive, reinvigorate, and reinstate their language, cultural practices, and knowledge systems. The new Dja Dja Wurrung inspired camping and cultural experience will use contemporary structures to speak traditional values. The Dja Dja Wurrung camping village will showcase Dja Dja Wurrung presence in the landscape and create new Dja Dja Wurrung places for the community to share, allowing for visitors to immerse themselves in Dja Dja Wurrung culture and engage in experiences that are uniquely Dja Dja Wurrung in nature.
The site located in the bushland adjacent to the No.7 Park was selected as the preferred site due to its location and proximity to services, easy access to transport routes, recreational opportunities with nearby trails, Crusoe Reservoir and quality vegetation providing a natural camp setting. This beautiful landscape with a thriving understory provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Dja Dja Wurrung culture in a healthy and thriving box-ironbark landscape.
The Dja Dja Wurrung Group CEO, Rodney Carter, said: “Many homes existed on Country, and there were villages and places of community living, sadly those homes are no longer standing. This village concept for camping on Country will be the first to be built in nearly 200 years and provide not only for Dja Dja Wurrung People but visitors to Central Victoria a unique experience of connecting to Country, please enjoy this achievement with us.”
Minister for Energy, the Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said: “This exciting project will help more Victorians from all walks of life, get out and explore the great outdoors and feel the health benefits of spending time in nature. It is being delivered in partnership between DJAARA and the Victorian Government and highlights the ongoing success of joint management.”
“The Dja Dja Wurrung Camping Village will be a fantastic place for Victorians to spend time while connecting with the rich history of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.”
DJAARA will be informing and consulting with residents and community groups throughout the planning process, ensuring the community have the chance to be involved and heard during this process. The project is planned to be delivered by June 2022 with updates being delivered to the community throughout the process.