Field trip to Wathuarong Country

On Thursday 8th of March, Pauline Clague, Craig Longman and Lindon Coombes, were asked by Prof. Bruce Pascoe to come and meet the Wathuarong community on their IPA lands to discuss how the Jumbunna Research Unit can support their work in revitalising their lands with regrowth of Native plants. Reg Abrahams, Alfie and Peter are doing some exciting things on the Wurdi Youang Property that is assisting in relearning Cultural knowledge about our Native Plants and Food.

watharoung 02WATHAROUNG

It was a sweltering 38 degrees in Melbourne and the field trip started with us all sitting around in the shed of the Property, learning the history of the area and the work the community are doing in maintaining the lands in the area.

As some people may know Wurdi Youang is an aboriginal stone arrangement located off the Little River – Ripley Road at Mount Rothwell, near Little River, Victoria.

The Wurdi Youang Aboriginal stone arrangement, consists of a roughly egg-shaped circle, about 50m in diameter, of about 100 basalt stones. The stones range from small rocks about 20cm in diameter to standing stones about 1m high—some of which appear to be supported with ‘trigger stones’—with an estimated total mass of about 23 tonnes.

Plan of the Wurdi Youang site showing the solstiti

Fig. 1. Plan of the Wurdi Youang site showing the solstitial and equinoctial alignments from the westernmost stones. The scales are in metres. © Ray Norris

The three largest stones in the circle are placed together at the western end, from which a number of small outlying stones indicate the setting position of the Sun at the solstices and at the Equinox, to an accuracy of a few degrees. The straight segments on the north-east and south-east sides of the ring also indicate the sun’s setting points at the two solstices when viewed from the eastern apex of the ring.