Journey on Wadawurrung Country immersive cultural experience


Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, along with artists Ferne Millen and Vicki Hallett, invites you to ‘Yaneekan-werreeyt Wadawurrung Dja (Journey on Wadawurrung Country)’ – a new immersive experience at Grant Pavilion, Torquay.

Visitors will have the chance to learn about Wadawurrung People, Culture and Country as they step into a space with Elders’ portraits and listen to the voices of Wadawurrung Elders, sharing their experiences and history.

The sounds of Wadawurrung Country, including the Barri Warri Yaluk, Barwon River, and the dawn chorus over Wurdi Youang, the You Yangs, provide an authentic backdrop to the journey.

The free exhibition was launched on 27 May celebrating the first day of National Reconciliation Week and honouring the 2024 theme of Now More Than Ever.

Open daily 10am-3pm from Tuesday, May 28, to Sunday, June 16, excluding Monday, June 10, and with an additional evening opening on Wednesday 29 May from 5.30pm-7.30pm, this exhibition offers a genuine encounter with the life stories, images and sounds of the Wadawurrung People.

Corrina Eccles, Wadawurrung Woman and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation Cultural Strengthening General Manager, says ‘the exhibition is honouring our Wadawurrung Elders, their bravery in sharing their stories and knowledge of identity, Country and family’.

“This is a chance to reflect and connect to Wadawurrung Country. We invite you to listen with your heart, see with your soul and feel with your spirit – take a Journey on Wadawurrung Country beside us,” she says.

“We ask people to come and immerse themselves in the beautiful portraits of Wadawurrung Elders and People, deeply listen to the stories they bravely share, all interwoven with the sounds of Wadawurrung Country.”

Journey on Wadawurrung Country is a collaborative effort between Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, artistic director/photographer Ferne Millen and musician, sound artist and field recordist Vicki Hallett.

Through photography and sound, they have created an exhibition that captures a cross section of portraits, sounds and stories from identified Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and their ancient lands.

Journey on Wadawurrung Country has been made possible by the generous support of TAC, WorkSafe, Give Where You Live Foundation, City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire Council. This exhibition has been further supported by Bells Fine Art, Bellarine AV, Otways Indigenous Nursery and Signific.

Vicki Hallett, sound artist, says: “Oral stories are imperative in shaping our understanding of human kind. Journey on Wadawurrung Country is a moment to listen to the brave survivors of colonialism, as they share their life stories, recollections, lived experiences and connection to Country.

“Soundscapes throughout the exhibition include ecosystems and sounds specifically connected to these stories and Wadawurrung Country, enhancing the immersive experience.”

Ferne Millen, artistic director/photographer, says: “This journey is a dream come true.

“I am humbled that Wadawurrung Elders and People trusted this vision, to capture their faces and listen to their stories which have been artfully woven into this immersive exhibition.

“I thank them for their bravery and their strength and my heart sings every time I connect with them.”

Mayor Liz Pattison says: “It is an honour for Council to be able to acknowledge National Reconciliation Week by supporting an event with the depth, meaning and resonance of Journey on Wadawurrung Country.

“It will provide our community with a rare opportunity to share in deep listening in a powerful and affecting way.

“We acknowledge the significance of this exhibition for Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, and particularly acknowledge the generosity, strength and grace of Elders who have shared their stories as part of the exhibition.

“All who view, listen to and absorb this exhibition will go away far richer for the experience.”

Admission to Journey on Wadawurrung Country is free, bookings are not required, and all are welcome to join the exploration of Wadawurrung Culture.

/Public Release. View in full here.