Belgrave Survival Day

A concert to celebrate survival of indigenous culture locally and nationally

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The Wurundjeri

The land that Belgrave Survival Day falls upon is part of the Wurundjeri nation that lived here for tens of thousands of years before the colonial settlers re-named the area Belgrave in the late 19th century.

The Wurundjeri country covered a huge expanse of what is now metropolitan Melbourne: from the inner city to the Werribee river; south east as far as Mordialloc creek and over to Healesville. The Wurundjeri nation spoke Woi-wurrung language and were part of the wider Kulin nation comprising five language groups.  Two social totems governed Wurundjeri:                                       the Crow (in Woi-wurrung Waang) and Bundjil the Eagle Hawk.

Many Aboriginal nations were named after specific geographical features of their land. The word Wurundjeri is derived from the Woi wurrung word Wurun referring to the river white gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) and Jeri is the grub that resides within that specific (ribbon gum) tree.

The Wurundjeri clan that inhabited the Melbourne area would often spend the summer months upon the banks of the Yarra and its tributaries. In winter, they would often head to the Dandenong Ranges (known as Banyenong) to make use of its timber for firewood and shelter. Wurundjeri divided their year into seven seasons rather than the familiar four. The arrival of a new season was based on the onset of a natural event such as the blooming of wattle or the first appearance of the blue wren.

For more information about the Wurundjeri nation, please contact:

Koorie Heritage Trust at 295 King St, City on (03) 8622 2600 or

Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation Cultural Heritage Council
1st Floor Providence Building
Abbotsford Convent 1 St Heliers St
P: (03) 9416 2905


6 Comments so far ↓

  • Gillian Nieman

    My home is in Monbulk. I will definitely be in Belgrave on 26 January 2012 to celebrate “Survival Day”. As an Anglo-Celtic Australian, attending this event will fill the gap which remains in my soul when merely celebrating “Australia Day”.

  • Jason

    Gunna be awesome fun

  • Jen Wren

    I hope to be able to come and celebrate with you.

    I have never felt that the 26th of January was a day that should be celebrated as Australia Day … when The Indigenous people have been treated with so much contempt.

  • Colin Hunter Jnr

    As a aboriginal person and Wurundjeri Elder I have alway struggled with the concept of celebrating Australia Day, why on earth would we want to celebrate the start of the destruction of our people and Culture.

  • Jenni Bellin

    As a white Aussie my mob is of course from all over the place, but most of us live on Wurundjeri land and my grandbabies are Wiradjeri.
    Jan 26 is a shitty day historically speaking and not a good choice for celebrating this beautiful land.
    If we continue to have a specific day to celebrate being Australian we need to choose a different day, a day that doesn’t represent death and destruction.
    Survival Day 2014 was a great day and I’ll be back in 2015.

  • David Arnott

    My heart is with you Wurundjeri

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