The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape site in southwest Victoria has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The aquaculture system was created an estimated 6,600 years ago, is one of the oldest of its kind in the world and is older than the Pyramids of Egpyt.
Budj Bim was built by the Gunditjmara people as a means of manipulating water flows and harvesting eels. The site includes stone channels, pools and weirs, as well as huts.
The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is only the third UNESCO listing in Victoria and this traditional site is now the first Australian site of its kind, recognised solely for its Aboriginal cultural importance.
The effort to see Budj Bim Cultural Landscape recognised with a UNESCO World Heritage listing has been discussed since 2002.
“This is a very special day for our community", elder Denise Lovett said in a statement. "This landscape, which we have cared for over thousands of years, is so important to Gunditjmara People,”
“The decision also recognises Budj Bim’s significance to all of humanity. We are so proud to now be able to share our achievements and story with the world.”
The Budj Bim Connections Project is a significant part of the Victorian Government's four-year $222-million investment in regional waterway and catchment health. This investment is a key component of Water for Victoria and has allowed the Glenelg Hopkins CMA (GHCMA) to deliver a series of environment restorations and cultural mapping.
You can learn more about those processes, including how GHCMA worked with Budj Bim rangers at the GHCMA website.