Engineers Australia has welcomed the addition of the Budj Bim cultural landscape – a sophisticated network of eel traps in south-west Victoria – to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The site was created about 6,600 years ago by the Gunditjmara people, who used stone blocks made from the Budj Bim lava flows to develop one of the largest and oldest aquaculture networks in the world.
Channels, dams and weirs were created to contain floodwaters and generate basins to trap eels, which provided a valuable food source.
Engineers Australia CEO, Peter McIntyre, said he was thrilled that UNESCO has recognised the resourcefulness of engineers, as well as the rich cultural heritage of Australia.
“Budj Bim is an extraordinary feat of engineering by the Gunditjmara people. For thousands of years, engineers have been using the tools available to them to improve lives and build communities. This continues today in Australian engineering achievements such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the cochlear hearing implant and wi-fi,” said Mr McIntyre.
Budj Bim is one of one hundred significant Australian engineering achievements featured in Wonders Never Cease, a book celebrating Engineers Australia centenary year in 2019.
Readers can discover the stories of well-known achievements such as the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme and the black box flight recorder as well as lesser known works including radar technology and the hypersonic scramjet engine, which has the potential to slash international travel times.