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Acknowledgement of Country
Taungurung people are the Traditional Owners of a large part of central Victoria and lived on this Country for more than a thousand generations. The Taungurung people are many clans sharing one language and deep spiritual connection with Country. The current generation of Taungurung people is strongly committed to the resurgence of their cultural knowledge and practice, reversing the dire effects of colonisation.

Taungurung Present
Today, Taungurung people are recovering a sense of shared identity, common purpose and cultural vitality. They are embarked upon an intentional journey to reclaim their culture, assert their history, revitalise their language and embrace their rightful involvement as custodians of the Taungurung lands. Evidence of scar trees, rock wells, rock art, cultural artefacts and place names all indicate that Taungurung people have been in this part of Victoria for many thousands of years. There is currently a strong emphasis on facilitating the return of Taungurung people to reside on their traditional estate. The Taungurung sovereign flag, designed by Taungurung Elder Loraine Padgham and launched on 7 May 2021, symbolises the reassertion of the identity and pride of the Taungurung people.

Taungurung Present
Land, family, law, ceremony and language are five key interconnected elements of Indigenous culture. These five elements combine to create a way of seeing and being in the world that is distinctly Indigenous. The people of the Taungurung First Nation share in common their understanding of each of these elements - and so share a distinctive culture.

Social Organisation
Our ancestors shared a common social organisation, based on moiety affiliation, with the other Kulin groups. Their society was divided into two moieties: Bundjil (Wedge Tail Eagle) and Waang (Crow). Every member of the tribe identified with one of these moieties and it was this identity that determined their pattern for marriage, ceremonial life and other activities. The various Taungurung clans were all associated with defined estates within the tribal lands. Each clan had strong connection with and responsibility for its clan estate, and for the songlines that traversed their estate. The Taungurung people of today, whilst retaining clan affiliation, collectively take responsibility for the entire Taungurung estate. Their continuing strong sense of connection with their traditional lands is at times expressed through ceremony.

Cultural Practices
Taungurung creation stories, tools, artefacts, baskets, kinship, weaving, songs, language and dance are all important elements that together form a rich cultural identity for the Taungurung people. The possum skin cloak is another important traditional item that contributes to cultural unity today. Whereas once it provided warmth and water protection from in harsh winters, it is now used to signify status and for ceremonial activities and occasions. The possum skin cloak is often adorned with designs, sometimes displaying totemic identity and stories.
Tanderrum is a coming-together ceremony enacted by the nations of the Kulin confederacy to express welcome, safe passage, and cultural unity. An annual Tanderrum is generally held at Federation Square to open the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Taungurung people, in preparing for these significant public events, enact and reimagine their ancient stories and songlines in contemporary dance and song in order to provide a powerful presentation of their traditions.

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Welcome to Heathcote

Heathcote has a sophisticated approach to the fine things in life.

A welcoming village atmosphere awaits just a little over an hour from Melbourne. In the heart of Central Victoria and nestled beneath the stunning McHarg and McIvor Ranges, is the charming township of Heathcote.

It is fast becoming one of Australia's most loved wine regions. Good food, friendly cellar doors, spectacular landscapes, gold rush relics, local art and craft, serene bushlands and dark night skies dotted with stars make Heathcote an ideal place to explore.