New nature reserve name to recognise First Nations owners

Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve will be renamed Yalukit Willam Nature Reserve to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land.

Bayside Mayor, Cr Alex del Porto, announced the new name at the official opening of the reserve’s Chain of Ponds which features seven new bodies of water and thousands of new indigenous plants to create diverse habitat to attract wildlife.

The Yalukit Willam clan are the river people of Port Phillip and original owners of the reserve lands.

The new name was suggested by Boonwurrung Elder Carolyn Briggs and approved by the Bunurong Land Council.

Cr del Porto said Council worked closely with N’arweet Carolyn Briggs on the design and layout of the ponds and a new meeting place currently taking shape at the heart of the reserve.

“We are extremely appreciative of N’arweet Carolyn Briggs’ involvement and guidance in this project, and acknowledge her generosity in sharing stories, history and knowledge of the land.

The opening of the Chain of Ponds was commemorated by the planting of two River Red Gum seedings from the ancient Ngargee Tree in St Kilda.

The Chain of Ponds opened to the public in late July and is the first stage in the $24 million masterplan to transform the reserve into a unique oasis for people and nature just 10 kms from the Melbourne CBD.

Bayside has earmarked $9 million for the project, and the Australian Government has committed $6 million to date, as well as making a further $11.7 million election commitment for the reserve and Elster Creek.

Cr del Porto said Bayside is also advocating for the Victorian Government to support this significant project with regional benefits.

Council will now request Geographical Names Victoria to gazette and register Yalukit Willam Nature Reserve.

More on Chain of Ponds

Photo Gallery of Chain of Ponds official opening

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