Unison pays respect to traditonal owners and our shared history

This year the theme of National Reconciliation Week, is Don’t Keep History a Mystery. In the spirit of the week, we wish to highlight the traditional owners of the lands on which we work, and on whose lands we have built homes.

Unison acknowledges that we live and work on country which the members and elders of the indigenous community and their forebears have been custodians for many centuries. 

Prior to colonisation there were approximately 250 Indigenous languages spoken in Australia and approximately 40 in Victoria. 1

Unison's head office at 660 Elizabeth St is located on Kulin Nation land in the City of Melbourne. Kulin Nation refers to an alliance of five Aboriginal tribes in south central Victoria. The Kulin Nation's collective traditional territory extends around Port Phillip and Western Port, up into the Great Dividing Range and the Loddon and Goulburn River valleys. 

Unison's other services are located on the lands of the Wurundjeri, Boonwarrung and Wathaurrung tribes and the land of the Kaurna people.

Woiwurrung (Woy-wur- rung) – The Wurundjeri People 

Close to 2300 or 86% of our properties are on Wurundjeri land.  

The Cities of Melbourne, Hume, Yarra, Brimbank, Darebin, Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong, Moreland, Whittlesea, Nillumbuk and Banyule are all located on Wurundjeri land.

Boonwarrung (Bun-er- rung) – The Bunurong or Boonerwrung People 

Ninety of our properties, or 3%, are on Boonwarrung land in the City of Hobsons Bay.  

Wathaurrung (Wath-er- rung) – The Wathaurong People 

The Wathaurrung people are the traditional owners of land in the Cities of Greater Geelong, Melton and parts of Wyndham where we have close to 190 properties or 8% of our portfolio.  

Kaurna people

Our office in Adelaide sits on the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. We have close to 90 properties (or 3%) on Kaurna land.

  

Unison pays respect to the Kaurna people and the Wurundjeri, Boonwarrrung, Wathaurrung, Taungurong and the Dja Dja Wurrung and the people who make up the Kulin Nation.

 

About Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week commences Sunday May 27 through to Sunday June 3. The Week is an annual celebration and is a time for all Australians to reflect on our shared histories, the significance of country to Aboriginal people and on the contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. 
 
The week is framed by two key events in Australia's history that provides strong symbols of the aspirations for reconciliation. 

May 27 marks the anniversary of Australia's most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation's history.  The 1967 Referendum saw over 90% of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and recognise them in the national census. 
 

 June 3 is Mabo Day. On this day in 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which overturned the notion of "terra nullius" and legally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' connection to their country, a connection that existed prior to colonisation and continues today.  This recognition paved the way for the Native Title system. 

As part of Unison's Reconciliation Week activities, the AFL sportsready Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program is providing cultural awareness training for all our staff.

The Reconciliation Week website provides a whole range of information about the week, the events, and how to get involved. www.reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week/

 

Reference

  1. Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (2018) Aboriginal Languages in pre-contact Australia Retrieved from http://www.vaclang.org.au/