Aboriginal Victoria

Of the 700+ language groups that inhabited Australia, 38 different language groups are represented within Victoria. Five of these groups with similar languages are commonly referred to as the Kulin Nations. These language groups are the Boonwurrung, Woiwurrung (known as the Wurundjeri people), Taungurung, Wathawurrung and Dja Dja wurrung. Wurundjeri country covers most of the area now known as greater Melbourne and includes the City of Darebin.

Wurundjeri Dreaming stories tell us that

Bunjil [the eaglehawk] made the mountains and rivers, man and all the animals, and passed on to men the knowledge of how to make weapons

and how to behave amongst one another

Within the Woi wurrung language group there are multiple clans, one of which is the Wurundjeri Balluk clan. This clan can be further subdivided into four distinct family groups, each headed by a Ngurungaeta (Woi wurrung word, pronounced na-run-getta), or headman. The family group most likely to have lived on the land now known as the City of Darebin is the Wurundjeri Willam clan, whose Ngurungaeta was Billebillary. This land may have also been used by the Bebejan family group, as they were based around the Heidelberg area.

City of Darebin (2018) The Story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Darebin, Preston

More information on leaders of the Wurundjeri people can be found at: https://www.wurundjeri.com.au/our-story/ancestors-past/

City of Darebin. Heritage Study volume 1 Draft thematic environmental history. 2008 [cited 2017 Oct 12]; report no. 1182. Brunswick: Context Pty Ltd. Available from: http://www.darebin.vic.gov.au/Building-and-Business/Planning-anddevelopment/Heritage

Eidelson M. Melbourne dreaming: a guide to important places of the past and present. 2nd ed. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press; 2014.