Grants support First Nations stories, art and dance

April 3, 2024 BY

The Wathaurong Dance Group is among three First Nations initiatives to receive grants from the city. Photo: FACEBOOK/WATHAURONG ABORIGINAL CO OP

THREE initiatives contributing to the preservation and promotion of First Nations cultural heritage are set to receive a funding boost from the City of Greater Geelong.

The grants, totalling almost $90,000, aim to empower and celebrate the cultural traditions of First Nations people across Greater Geelong, which has the largest population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in any local government area in the state.

“These grants represent our commitment to understanding, respecting and celebrating the cultural heritage of the First Nations peoples within our region,” mayor Trent Sullivan said.

“We are proud to support these initiatives which reflect our commitment to fostering collaboration and partnership with First Nations communities, ensuring their voices and cultural heritage are preserved and promoted within our region.”

The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation will receive $41,332 for its Journey on Wadawurrung Country (JOWC) project.

This ongoing project strives to foster greater understanding and appreciation of First Nations culture by documenting and sharing the stories and perspectives of Wadawurrung Elders and Traditional Owners.

The Journey on Wadawurrung Country pilot project was developed in close consultation with Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Corrina Eccles. Photo: FERNE MILLEN


The JOWC pilot project was exhibited at the Geelong Arts Centre in early 2021 and made use of photographic portraits, sound recordings and interviews of the traditional custodians of Wadawurrung land.

Bellarine Training and Community Hub will receive $10,000 from the city to put toward the planning of a First Nations Garden.

The garden will be designed in consultation with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Cooperation to create a culturally sensitive and inclusive community space that serves as a hub for education, celebration and engagement with nature.

The Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative will also receive funding for the Wathaurong Dance Group, which provides a safe environment for children to connect with their culture through traditional dance.

A grant of $38,000 will aid in the creation of women’s and men’s dance performances.

Geelong deputy mayor Anthony Aitken said each of the projects will foster greater understanding and reconciliation within the community.

“The City of Greater Geelong extends its gratitude to all applicants and congratulates the recipients of these grants.

“Together, we look forward to witnessing the positive impact of these products on our community.