Heathdale flower 12th November 2020


This week, we've been celebrating NAIDOC Week and the rich history of our Indigenous Australian brothers and sisters, Australia's First Peoples.

Heathdale flower


We recognise the First Custodians of the lands on Heathdale Christian College stands and where we live, work and learn. We would like to acknowledge the peoples of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which our community is being built. We give thanks to our almighty creator God for their care and stewardship of this land, and pay our respect to their leaders, past, present and emerging, and for any Aboriginal people present in our College community. We also pray for ongoing healing in damaged relationships between our indigenous brothers and sisters and all non-indigenous Australians, and seek God’s work of reconciliation in all our human relationships.

Why are we flying the flags this week?

This week, we will be flying the Australian Aboriginal flag as well as the Australian National flag at both campuses. This is in recognition of NAIDOC Week, which was postponed from its usual date in early July.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, the committee originally responsible for organising the celebration event.

NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society. It’s a time to acknowledge and celebrate that our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact.

The theme for this year’s NAIDOC weeks is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, in recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.

This week, we will journey together as a community in many forms of remembrance, and in our morning Connect times we will spend some time acknowledging the past, present and future of Australia’s First Peoples.

Learning about the Traditional Custodians of our land

In our Acknowledgement of Country, we acknowledge the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our Melton and Werribee campuses sit.

The Kulin Nation is actually connected by five indigenous Australian languages, each spoken by many different clans. The languages are:

- Wathaurung (Wath-er-rung)

- Boonwurrung (Boon-wur-rung)

- Woiwurrung (Woy-wur-rung)

- Dja Dja Wurrung (Jar-Jar-Wur-rung)

- Taungurung (Tung-ger-rung)

While some of these names may be unfamiliar, the languages and people groups associated with them have been around for generations beyond European arrival, and each have rich traditions. It’s important we say their names.

The Wathurung people hold title on the Western side of the Werribee River, while the Eastern side of the river that Heathdale’s Werribee campus is built on has no official Registered Aboriginal Party. This area of land is bordered by the three language groups – Wathaurung, Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung – therefore it is respectful to acknowledge the Kulin Nation as a whole.

The traditional custodians of the land on which the City of Melton spans are the Wurundjeri clan (who speak Woiwurrung) and Wathaurong people. Wurundjeri country includes all land east of the Werribee River to the Melton boundary, where Heathdale’s campus resides. Wathaurong country includes all land west of the Werribee River to the Melton boundary.

It’s a blessing for our community to grow more familiar with the First Peoples we share this land with, and we are privileged across both campuses to have a great diversity of language groups represented in our areas.