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Aboriginal sites and cultural events in Casey

Casey Aboriginal Gathering Place 

The Casey Aboriginal Gathering Place (CAGP) in Doveton was officially opened in July 2016 as a dedicated space for the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to drop in, engage in programs and activities, connect with services and community. The CAGP offers programs across the lifespan from babies through to older people. There are various programs available for the broader Aboriginal community and programs tailored specifically for particular age groups and needs. There are also programs for people who are aged or have a disability. These programs include the Interactive Gardening Group, Yarn and Art Group and the Craft and Yarn Women’s Group. 

The Casey Aboriginal Gathering Place is located at 20 Agonis Street, Doveton.  

To get in touch email: aboriginalgatheringpl@casey.vic.gov.au 

Cultural events 

The main events recognised and celebrated across the City of Casey regarding our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are NAIDOC and National Reconciliation Week. 

NAIDOC 

First Sunday in July (Sunday to Sunday) 

National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest continuous living cultures on earth. Council and community run activities and events throughout the week to celebrate and learn from our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

National Reconciliation Week 

27 May – 3 June 

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. 

The dates for NRW are the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. 

27 May 1967 – On this day, Australia’s most successful referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the Census. 

3 June 1992 – On this day, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, the culmination of Eddie Koiki Mabo’s challenge to the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) and leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands. This decision paved the way for Native Title. 

Council acknowledges National Reconciliation Week each year as a reminder of the work still to be done. Activities are led by Council leadership rather than the Aboriginal Engagement Unit in recognition of the organisational responsibility to reconciliation action.  

Aboriginal sites

Scar tree

Aboriginal sites take on many forms, from the spiritual to the physical remains of historical campsites.

Examples of sites include:

  • scar trees
  • stone tool artefact scatters
  • coastal or freshwater shell middens
  • burial sites.

Casey has a variety of sites within its boundaries. Because of the fragility of these sites and the need to protect them from vandalism, their exact location is not generally made public.

We are working closely with the Aboriginal community to minimise the impact to these sites as the city grows.

The Bunurong/Boonwurrung People

The Bunurong/Boonwurrung people are Aboriginal people from south-east Victoria. Their traditional lands are from the Werribee River in the north-west, down to Wilson's Promontory in the south-east. The lands take in the catchments of: 

  • the old Carrum swamp
  • Tarwin River
  • Westernport Bay, including Mornington Peninsula, French and Phillip Islands

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