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Wadawurrung Traditional Owners join Geelong City Deal revitalisation

Wadawurrung culture will feature in central Geelong’s revitalisation thanks to a new partnership between the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (WTOAC), the Geelong City Deal and Revitalising Central Geelong (RCG) partners.

Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas today met with WTOAC representatives where she announced the Geelong City Deal would provide $400,000 funding to support the Traditional Owners to take a central role in the planning, design and implementation of RCG projects.

The WTOAC will employ a project manager for two years to work within the RCG partnership to enable this important collaboration.

The project manager will support self-determination for the RCG Action Plan projects, helping to deliver the Barwon Regional Partnership priority of embracing and embedding Aboriginal culture throughout the region.

The funding will be used to begin work on urban design guidelines that reflect Wadawurrung cultural values and expression in central Geelong developments, which will help deliver the Wadawurrung Traditional Owner’s Paleert Tjaara Dja: Healthy Country Plan (2020).

The WTOAC has been working closely with Geelong City Deal partners, particularly with those projects under the Revitalising Central Geelong commitment.

The Geelong City Deal is a $382 million commitment between the Australian and Victorian governments and the City of Greater Geelong to revitalise the city and regional economy, encouraging visitors to spend more time in the region by capitalising on its natural assets.

Revitalising Central Geelong projects will improve the vibrancy, liveability and amenity of central Geelong for residents, workers, students and visitors.

For more information on the Geelong City Deal visit

Quote attributable to Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher

“By having a project manager from the WTOAC working directly with the RCG partnership, they will have the opportunity to advise and influence the scope, design and output of projects, including facilitating the broader WTOAC’s input and representation in RCG projects under the Geelong City Deal.”

Quote attributable to Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson

“The Geelong City Deal is transforming our region through meaningful community, event and tourism infrastructure inspired by our diverse natural environment and rich cultural heritage. The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation’s views, insights and vital cultural knowledge will bring great
value to the continuing transformation of our great city.”

Quote attributable to Victorian Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, giving them a strong voice in the design of projects in Geelong’s city centre. It places regional Victoria at the forefront of urban design embedding Aboriginal culture.”

Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

“Having Traditional Owners involved in all major projects is more than a matter of respect. The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners involvement in all City Deal projects will ensure developments respectfully acknowledge culture, which will attract locals and visitors to our city.”

Quote attributable to City of Greater Geelong Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan

“Greater Geelong is on Wadawurrung Country, with history stretching back tens of thousands of years. It’s important that we take every opportunity to work with the Traditional Owners to recognise and celebrate this ancient cultural heritage.”

Quote attributable to Chief Executive Officer of the Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation Paul Davis

“With the Geelong City Deal providing over $382 million investment in the region and much of that being on Wadawurrung Country, it’s vital for Wadawurrung Traditional Owners to have a seat at the table and be able to play an active role.”

29 September 2021

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