Traditional Owners of Boroondara

The area now known as the City of Boroondara is on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people in the inner-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It includes:

  • Ashburton
  • Balwyn
  • Balwyn North
  • Camberwell
  • Canterbury
  • Deepdene
  • Hawthorn
  • Hawthorn East
  • Kew
  • Kew East
  • parts of Glen Iris, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert.

The City of Boroondara’s name comes from the Woi-wurrung language. It means ‘where the ground is thickly shaded’. The Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung community has a strong historical, cultural and spiritual connection to their traditional lands and waterways. They continue the responsibilities of their ancestors to protect, preserve and manage the land and waterways in line with culture and traditions.

The Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (WWCHAC) is formally recognised through the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 as the Traditional Owners for the land and waterways in Boroondara. As the Registered Aboriginal Party, the WWCHAC has important legislated roles and functions. It helps to manage and protect the Aboriginal cultural heritage of its recognised lands. This includes looking at Cultural Heritage Management Plans and Cultural Heritage Permit applications.

The WWCHAC also offers important services in the community, including:

  • managing land and water, such as cultural burning, weed control and planting
  • cultural practices for events, such as performing a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies
  • cultural consultations to give feedback on projects being developed on its land
  • education and cultural awareness specific to its heritage and culture
  • language and place-naming advice. 
A sign along the Wurundjeri Heritage Trail