>>Ebonee: Welcome to the You Yangs Regional
Park which is found on the traditional land of the Wadawurrung people. On behalf of Parks
Victoria I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land we’re standing on today
and pay our respects to elders and ancestors past and present.
I’m ranger Ebonee and I’m a Community Engagement Ranger but I’m also a proud Wadawurrung
woman. The You Yangs is located just towards Geelong and is the big mountains in the middle
of the plain. So it’s quite a significant site for a number of reasons but one of those
reason is right in front of us here, being this rock well.
So this rock well was actually created by the local Wadawurrung people and it was created
as a source of water. So in the Geelong area there not a lot of fresh water around here
so by creating a rock well in the granite rock it’s just a way of having a fresh resource
available and hopefully the intent would be all year round.
Now how this was made is very strategically so they had to think about where it was going
to be, where it was going to sit, where enough water would run into that area. But it was
created with a lot of patience and a lot of strength and a lot of skill. So by looking
at the granite we can see that it’s a really, really hard rock and it’s how this was created
was by using fire as an advantage if you light a certain area on fire and then put that out
with water using stone tools you chip away layer by layer.
So there’s a number of rock wells in the park but this is one that people see on a
daily basis because it is in one of the picnic areas. But a lot of people don’t realise
what this is and how significant it is. So a lot of people think it’s just a natural
crevice in the rock but in fact it’s not the case at all.
So it’s quite deep as well but you can see here that it’s filled with water. So with
a lot of rain it fills up and that’s the, that’s the aim of it, to always have water
nearby. Traditionally this did have a lid as well, made out of granite, just to keep
the water fresh and to keep other animals from drinking it as well.
So where we are is Wadawurrung Country, and Wadawurrung Country stretches from the Werribee
river, so towards Werribee, out past Ballarat and then all the way down to the Great Ocean
Road as well. So it’s quite a big area and the advantages of the You Yangs is that you
can see that from most points of the Country so it’s the big mountains in the middle
of the plains and obviously it’s advantage is the height. So standing up here today we
can see that there is a really good view. So you can look out here and you can really
see everything in the landscape. Now 200 years ago this was known as a grassland
so there wasn’t as many trees as what we can see today but there was a lot of grasses
and our native grasses are quite tall. But there, our native grasslands are a resource
for our native animals. So animals like the kangaroos and eastern barred bandicoots, which
eastern barred bandicoots are now extinct in the wild, were once running around here.
So you can imagine yourself standing up here just seeing the animals that were around there
that you can hunt and that’s your resource. You can see the water that is around here,
you can see where the native vegetation is, which you can use, not only for food, but
also for tools and weapons as well. So Aboriginal people were more than just hunters and gathers,
they were doctors, they were chefs, they were you know agriculturists, they were also engineers.
So and that’s proved today by standing here in front of this well that this was something
that was engineered, that this was something that was built, to stand through time as well
not just something that going to, I guess disintegrate.