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Celebrating 10 years of DJAARA’s Recognition and Settlement Agreement

A historic moment

Ten years ago, on 15 November 2013, a historic moment unfolded in Bendigo’s Rosalind Park. Representing Dja Dja Wurrung People, the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (DJAARA) celebrated the signing of the Recognition and Settlement Agreement (RSA) with the State of Victoria.

The Agreement recognises Dja Dja Wurrung People as the Traditional Owners of the land of central Victoria. It acknowledges our long connection with this land, and the history of dispossession and forced dispersal that has affected us.

It recognises Dja Dja Wurrung Country as a cultural landscape, imprinted with dreaming stories, Law, totemic relationships, songs, ceremonies and Ancestral spirits, which give it life and significant value to us, the Dja Dja Wurrung People.

“This historic agreement will bring Dja Dja Wurrung People back into the landscape. We will no longer be invisible. We will have the right to access our traditional lands for hunting and ceremonial purposes enabling us to keep our Culture alive and strengthen our connection to our traditional lands and waters.”

Uncle Graham Atkinson
Elder & DDWCAC Chairperson 2004 -2014.

Through our RSA, we have a say in what happens on our Country (on Crown land). The Agreement gives us Aboriginal title of six parks and reserves, including the right to actively manage Country. We have legal rights to practise Culture, and to hunt, fish and gather.

This Agreement was the first comprehensive settlement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic).

Our Recognition and Settlement Agreement has been the foundation, on which our subsequent achievements have been built.

YAPENYA to sing, to dance, to gather, to reflect, to celebrate!

From 11 – 18 November, we embark on a journey of reflection and celebration, hosting a series of events, activities, and gatherings through our celebratory YAPENYA program.

Our YAPENYA celebrations reaffirm our ongoing commitment to our People, Country, and community through our Recognition and Settlement Agreement. 

Now is the time for Dja Dja Wurrung to celebrate and reflect on significant achievements over the past ten years.  We recognise that our achievements over the past decade are not just our own; they reflect the support, collaboration and ongoing commitment of our partners, allies, and the broader community.

In ten years, we have grown from a small organisation to one of Bendigo’s large employers, with more than 200 staff.   We create stable employment for Dja Dja Wurrung People, as well as other Indigenous, and non-Indigenous, people. 

Increasingly, we are at the table with government. DJAARA is progressively leading work across Country through our philosophy of ngaldurrong yana (walking together).  Our People have more opportunities to heal Country, practise Culture, develop careers, build businesses, and participate in the community.  As a corporation, we’re building enterprises to care for our upside-down Country, share our art and Culture, grow food and more.   

We are creating positive outcomes for our community, in our local community. When Dja Dja Wurrung People are empowered, great things happen – not just for our own communities, but for all.  As we come together in November to celebrate, we do so in honour of our Ancestors, with gratitude for the wisdom of our Elders, and with a profound commitment to creating a brighter path for the next generation.

Celebrate with us!

Dja Dja Wurrung Showcase

Monday 13 – Friday 17 November 2023
9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Rosalind Park,
30 Gaol Road, Bendigo VIC 3550

Do you want to know more about DJAARA (Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation)?
We will be down at Rosalind Park all week; come and have a yarn with us!
Our project teams will be present to share some of the deadly work we are doing.
There will also be image displays and comfy chairs for us to yarn.
It is a great way to learn more about the Traditional Owners of central Victoria.

Ulumbarra CBD Walking Tour

Monday 13, Tuesday 14 and Friday 17  November 2023
9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Start point: Ulumbarra Theatre,
10 Gaol Road, Bendigo VIC 3550

Experience the Ulumbarra CBD Walking Tour and uncover the rich cultural histories of Bendigo. Step into the city’s past, present, and future, and explore the living culture of Dja Dja Wurrung People.
Witness the commitment to preserving Cultural Heritage, surrounding significant sites, and the inspiring collaboration between the State Government and local First Nation Communities, leaving you with a deeper appreciation of our unique history and unbreakable bond of Community.
Please register to ensure your space.
Book at:
Ulumbarra CBD Walking Tours are a part of the DUMAWUL Cultural Immersion Experience.

YAPENYA – Art Exhibition

Tuesday 14 – Friday 17 November 2023
10.00am – 4.00pm
Dudley House
60 View St, Bendigo

Wednesday to Friday
A showcase of contemporary Aboriginal art by talented Dja Dja Wurrung artists will open at Dudley House on Tuesday and run until Friday 17 November.
Featured artists include; Kerri Douglas, Peta Hudson, Racquel Kerr, Daikota Nelson, Tamani Nicholls, Rebecca Phillips, Samantha Roberts, Maddy Saunders, Stephanie Taylor, Suzanne Taylor and many more.

YAPENYA – Twilight Market

Thursday 16th November 2023
2:30pm – 9:00pm
Dudley House (outside)
60 View St, Bendigo

YAPENYA Twilight Market will feature art, craft, jewellery and more from Dja Dja Wurrung and other First Nations artisans and craftspeople.
You can also grab a feed from the food trucks and watch the yabby races.
Come along and support First Nations businesses.


November 2021 – 2024
7:00pm – 11:00pm daily
Oscars Walk and Bath Lane Precinct,

Originally created in 2021, Djaara Lights lets you experience the Dja Dja Wurrung six seasons by Troy Firebrace and Drew Berick, with one of Bendigo’s most unique, cultural activation experiences.
Find out more:

Bunjil artwork and meaning


Racquel is a proud Dja Dja Wurrung and Boonwurrung woman based in Victoria.

Racquel creates the most vibrant, detailed, mix of colours and symbolism through her work.

From canvases to digital art to the built environment, Racquel takes her vision to any canvas and produces stunning results, telling stories of the land and of connection.

Through her business, Racquel Kerr Consulting, Racquel is available for contract and commissioned artwork as well as specialist consulting services with the cultural space, such as facilitiation, engagement, and Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs).

Rac’s contact details and incredible work can be seen below:


Bunjil, known as the Djaara creator spirit, upholds the continuation of morals, principles and lore of Djaara, and caring for Djandak.

Bunjil’s wingspan contains significant meeting places and areas from the floodplains in the north, to the volcanics in the south. Djaara created from Country, so our intrinsic connection lies beyond physical and spiritual – where we are one.


November 2023
Rosalind Park, Bendigo

The BENDIGO sign has been Djaara-fied in the lead up to our YAPENYA celebrations!  

The deadly artwork will be in place for the whole of November as we commemorate 10 years of our Recognition and Settlement Agreement – and the many achievements since 2013.  

Be sure to take a pic and share it with us @DjaDjaWurrung #Yapenya2023


Thank you for your interest in supporting DJAARA and our YAPENYA 2023 celebrations.

To make a donation click here.