Every morning at our FSSI Team check in meetings, one of the Team gives an Acknowledgement of Country. We would like to share with you an Acknowledgement given by FSSI Senior Learning Designer Neil Grant recently…
Before this land was tied by fences and covered by concrete and asphalt, the First People were here. They lived and fished and farmed this place for thousands of years and they survived. I acknowledge this survival and their tenacity and that we are now here on their country by their goodwill and as their guests. The Wurundjeri willam of Nillumbik, where I live, knew this place best – its waterways and gullies and hills; its tall trees and grasslands. William Barak was the son of Bebejan and Tooterie and the last broadly recognised Ngurungaeta (leader) of the Wurundjeri people. As boy, he witnessed the arrival of Europeans and the taking of his lands by John Batman in 1835. Barak went on to become a great leader, thinker and documentarian of the Wurundjeri. Annie Borate, his younger sister, was born on the Plenty River. She married outside her people into the Kurnai Brataualung tribe of Gippsland in exchange for Lizzie, William Barak’s first wife. The significance of this new alliance was to counter the threat of European colonisation.
Annie and William’s descendants still live among us on the land of their people. They survived.
We acknowledge the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation and the other various Indigenous groups on whose unceded lands FSSI conduct their business. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present.