For thousands of years Aboriginal people quarried greenstone (volcanic diorite) from Wil-im-ee Moor-ing/Mount William to make the hatchet heads for their axes. The quarry was the centre of an extraordinary trading network that extended 700 kilometres into New South Wales as well as into South Australia. In 1882 and 1884 Wurundjeri elder William Barak witnessed the final operations of the quarry, describing aspects of its custodial control to anthropologist, Alfred Howitt. On 23rd October 2012, the land title of the Wil-im-ee Moor-ing/Mount William quarry was handed back to Kulin elders and is now under the control of the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Cultural Heritage Council.
With a focus on intersections between the earth sciences and Indigenous history and knowledges, the tour offered participants an insight into the Wurundjeri people’s long term relationship to this site and the geological processes that continue to shape Victoria’s landscape.
This tour was part of the public program for the exhibition Converging in time, at Monash University Museum of Art, 2017.
Bill Nicholson Jnr, Wurundjeri Elder and Cultural Education Manager, Wurundjeri Council
Julie Boyce, Research and Teaching Associate, School of Earth, Atmosphere & Environment, Monash University
James Driscoll, Research Fellow, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University
Dermot Henry, Acting Head of Sciences, Museums Victoria
John Patten, Manager, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Museum Victoria
Matt Poll, Curator Indigenous Heritage and Repatriation Project, Macleay Museum, The University of Sydney
Andrew Milner, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, Monash University