On a cold autumn Sunday afternoon some 25 intrepid interested folk arrived at the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation at Abbotsford. We were setting off – braving the elements, the cyclists and other walkers to travel along the Birrarung.

Elder Uncle Dave Wandin, a member of the Wurundjeri Corp led us in a wonderful exploration of Indigenous knowledge and culture as we walked from Abbotsford Convent to Dights Falls.

 We were firstly welcomed to country by Uncle Dave. Dave warned us at the outset that he could “talk forever“:  And he was true to his word. He told us he was heartened to welcome a group at the commencement of Reconciliation Week. We were heartened to hear of his vision- One of walking together as First Nations people and all other people, walking as one in a united country.

Along the walk Uncle Dave introduced us to a host of grasses, seeds, plants and trees that have always formed part of the Aboriginal world.  He also shared with us stories from the Dreamtime and how scientists today are coming to align the geographical make-up of the country with First Nations’ stories.

Dave’s personal journey as an archaeologist, conservationist, father and grandfather was both fascinating and very informative: clearly a man with a passion for care of country, sharing knowledge and loving family.

Time was truly against us as Dave had allowed for a three hour tour and we had booked a two hour tour.  Some of us were pressed for time and we were hoping to have a pop up picnic before dark.  Thankfully Dave joined us and continued yarning while many of our group shared food, drink and fellowship.

Such a wonderful enriching afternoon.

Claire Foley and Michael Foley, 29th May 2022