Aboriginal tourism boost
TOURISTS and locals will be encouraged to explore the rich Aboriginal history of the You Yangs and Great South Coast, under a new State Government cultural tourism plan.
Announcing the strategy in Portland yesterday, Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said the project would focus on Aboriginal culture and tourism in the You Yangs and Great Ocean Road region.
It would be led by Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism and was backed by a $225,000 State Government grant.
The tourism strategy aimed to increase understanding and appreciation for the 60,000 years of Aboriginal culture in the region, as visitors travelled through places such as the You Yangs, Cape Otway, Moyjil, Tower Hill and Budj Bim, Ms Pulford said.
“We’re collaborating with Aboriginal groups, Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism, and local governments to grow tourism and jobs in the Great South Coast region, while preserving and celebrating its proud indigenous history,” she added.
Tourism and Major Events Minister and Lara MP, John Eren, said visitors to the region were increasingly keen to learn about Aboriginal cultures.
“There are opportunities to expand the tourism experiences on offer — and we’re ready to do just that,” Mr Eren said. ART and music combines this weekend with the return of the Birregurra Festival in the town’s Main St.
Festivities officially began last night with the art show launch in the Main Street Hall, an exhibit that attracts artists from across Victoria.
Activities for today and tomorrow include music performances from the likes of Reuben Stone, Kitt Watts, Residual, Nigel Wearne, Tom West, The Acfields, and the Mik Maks.
Children can enjoy the Back Paddock play area featuring a petting zoo, rides and kid’s entertainment.
The dog jump competition will prove to be a tight contest this year and not to be missed.
Festival-goers can delight in a culinary treat, indulging in the best of the western district and discovering the region’s best local produce in the Food & Wine Precinct, filled with local goodies and food vans.
Entry to the festival costs a gold coin donation.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Natalie Hutchins, also praised the plan.
“The knowledge of country passed down through thousands of generations of Aboriginal people has the potential to contribute enormously to the preservation of this amazing natural environment, as well as building a sustainable economic future for Aboriginal people,” Ms Hutchins said.
The project brings together traditional owners, the six local government areas on the Great Ocean Road, Regional Development Victoria and Parks Victoria to identify opportunities to enhance existing Aboriginal tourism experiences and find new ways of engaging tourists in local Aboriginal history.