Victoria University (VU) acknowledges, honours, recognises and respects the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Boonwurrung, Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) and Wadawurrung (Wathaurung) people of the Kulin Nation on our Melbourne Campuses (further information provided on campus location and Traditional Owners below), and the Gadigal and Guring-gai people of the Eora Nation on our Sydney Campus. These groups are the custodians of University land and have been for many centuries.
It is important that staff, students and visitors understand and respect the significance of recognising the traditional owners of University land. This is important because ‘White Australia has a Black History’ (see sidebar) and Aboriginal people had a sophisticated set of laws and governance arrangements for many thousands of years before being invaded by the British. There were 500 language groups in Australia and each language group had and has a deep spiritual and physical connection to Country.
Country takes in everything within the landscape – landforms, waters, air, trees, rocks, plants, animals, foods, medicines, minerals, stories and special places. People have custodial responsibilities to care for their Country, to ensure that it continues in proper order and provides physical sustenance and spiritual nourishment. These custodial relationships may determine who can speak for particular Country.