A 6,000-year-old indigenous site in southwest Victoria became the first in Australia to receive World Heritage protection, with UNESCO recognising its cultural & historical importance.

The precious Budj Bim Cultural Landscape was officially added to the World Heritage list over the weekend, much to the delight of the Gunditjmara people who spent years campaigning for the site’s protection.

Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is believed to be one of the world’s oldest aquafarming sites, dating back some 6,600 years (older than Egypt’s pyramids). It’s where the Gunditjmara people built and used advanced systems to catch eels from Lake Condah.

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The site has further historical value as it dismisses the myth that all of Australia’s indigenous people were nomadic and not agriculturally savvy, ABC News reported.

Project Manager for Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Denis Rose, welcomed the good news, saying that receiving World Heritage protection was a positive conclusion to 17-years of campaigning.

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“It’s a very exhaustive process. We based it on a lot of evidence, and now that it’s been decided, I’m extremely happy.”

Denis Rose, Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation Project Manager 

Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, was equally as thrilled, saying that the landscape has been well-cared for and so important to the Gunditjmara People.

“The decision also recognises Budj Bim’s significance to all of humanity,” he added. “We are so proud to now be able to share our achievements and story with the world.”

 

Have you visited the ancient indigenous site?