What would you like to learn about local Wathaurong Aboriginal community history, culture and people?

Come and learn about local 'indigenous' plants from a display by Wilma Trew.

Information sheets will be available and can be downloaded here.

Gavin Couzens provided the Reconciliation workshop at Mathew Flinders Secondary College. Students completed art in preparation for the Geelong Gallery 'Let's Talk Recognition' exhibition.

M Flinders Sch w Gavin Couzens May16


Just 6 weeks to go until Reconciliation in the Park, at Johnston Park, Geelong.

Live music performances will include: The Deadly Duo, Mick Ryan and The Louds, and Elzekiel Ox
Plus Geelong Koori Kids Choir with new songs from their workshop with Debra Cheatham

'Djillong' education materials will be on display
Geelong Gallery will be open from Johnston Park, to see the schools 'Let's Talk Recognition' art display

FREE BBQ, including bush tucker

Download the event POSTER HERE.

View the National Reconciliation Week video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=118&v=0CW_tDLo_oM

Thanks to our funders: City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Connected Communities, St John of God Hospital & Reconciliaiton Victoria

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op and Geelong One Fire are finalists in the Community HART Awards for provision of Reconciliaiton in the Park, with results due to be announced on 3rd June.

See: http://www.reconciliationvic.org.au/pages/hart-awards.php


This is a big time in our history in the State of Victoria.

The Victorian Government will begin talks to work out Australia's first treaty with Indigenous people within weeks

Please go to this link to read the details:




The 6th Reconciliation in the Park event brought 500-600 people to Johnstone Park to build understanding, relationships and learning in the Geelong community. We found that for many people this was their first time at the event, alongside other people who are annual participants.

Thanks to Kiralee Hogema who Co-ordinated the event, alongside Mel King who assisted her and Norm Stanley who provided such an inclusive MC role on the day. The musicians: Deadly Duo, The Louds, Norm & Megan Stanley & Yirrmal; activity providers and BBQ cooks all made this free event rock!

Thanks also to our funders: City of Greater Geelong, Reconciliation Victoria and Geelong Connected Community plus our many sponsers and volunteers who planned the event and worked together on the day.


Comments and appreciations included:

  • This was the best Reconciliaiton in the Park ever - the quality of the activities and music was great.
  • This year was really led by the local Aboriginal community, I liked seeing Norm as MC and the two young women who Co-ordinated the day having fun together.
  • It would take ages to retell how much pleasure I got from being thereFor me I have had almost no connection with the local indigenous community and the event was an introduction for my understanding in many ways.
  • We had more people join One Fire Reconciliation Group, and the conversations about Constitutional Recognition indicate that many more people here know about it than a year ago.
  • Thank you for putting on this event for us all to be part of in Geelong.
  • I never went to anything about reconciliaiton before. I came to learn.

 Kiralee Mel  Norm      Hand banner     Welcome - NUncD

Deadly duo     The Louds     Yirrmal  band

G Koori Kids Ch    Girls dance    The Storyteller   Boomerang making 1

 Narana - R    Mel storytelling    Helen Basket making    Damper making    Native plants

One Fire - SB     Barb BQ - Ted  Sandy     Rec Vic crew



This annual event was held on Sunday 31st May 2015 at Johnstone Park, Geelong.

New activities included bush tucker tasting, local indigenous & native plants, plus Geelong Football Club Aboriginal players history.

Musicans included: The Louds, The Deadly Duo, Yirrmal, Norm Stanley, the Geelong Koori Kids Choir & Yirrmal

Download the FLIER HERE

Geelong Reconciliation Events in 2015

Listen to The Pulse FM 'Roads to Recovery' Reconciliation Week programs at http://947thepulse.com/programs/roads-to-recovery.html 

What Does Reconciliaiton Mean to You?  Barwon Health Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3l3f8S3d9Q


Let’s talk recognition—a children’s art exhibition

Geelong Gallery: 16 May to 8 June 

Children's creative responses to reconciliation with sponsors: Department of Education & Training, Deakin University, Cavalier Arts Suppliers

Students and educators from a wide range of schools and year levels explored the theme of reconciliation through classroom learning, activities and workshops. The resulting artworks—displayed in Geelong Gallery—provided students with the opportunity to express their own creative responses to reconciliation and promote and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

ART - Bunjil

ART creatures    ART - Change it Up    ART - pink sq

ART Tiles    ART blue  purple tiles    


Every year  National Reconciliation Week is held between two significant dates in Australia’s history, May 27—the 1967 referendum and June 3—Mabo Day. 

The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2015 was It's Time to Change it Up.



Geelong Sustainability - Green Drinks Event: 27 May 2015

Geelong Sustainability believes that sustainability and reconciliation are intertwined. Geelong Sustainability wishes to acknowledge and gain insights into sustainability from local Aboriginal people - the Wathaurong, who have lived within our region for over 40,000 years.

This was the first event for Reconciliation Week provided through their 'Green Drinks' program.

Uncle David Tournier: Cultural Heritage Education Language Officer & Vicky Grosser: One Fire Secretary who works locally as a Carbon Manager, spoke with members at this event, and the questions from the participants were gathered to take forward links between reconciliation and sustainability activities in Geelong.  

Thanks to Dan Cowdell & Vicki Perritt at Geelong Sustainability for initiating this event.


Uncle David Vicky  Dan compressed

Dan with Vicky and Uncle David

Photo by Phil Hines





CELEBRATING Reconciliation in the Park 2014


Over 450 people attended the event this year.

Thanks to Mel King: Co-ordinator and the Working Group plus many volunteers on the day.


Local schools provided reconciliation themed art for Geelong Gallery.

Local Aboriginal musicians sang throughout the day, Trades Hall members cooked the BBQ, and everyone enjoyed the activities, learning and strengthening of friendships together.

Politicians spoke about Constitutional Recognition and the recently adopted Geelong City Council

'Karreenga Aboriginal Action Plan'.


Comments included: 

Great event, Fantastic to see the involvement of local high schools. Also great to see Mick Ryan from Barwon Medicare Local performing. 

Great Djillong time line and website, learnt a lot! 

Information on The Storyteller was fantastic. Thanks for a great event.

Great work Mel. Well put together. Lots of information. Great to see so many people coming together.

I felt very welcome - it's a great family day. 

MANY more comments were contributed to the 2014 banner, which is featured below in the photo gallery (click on on a photo to enlarge it)


In addition, you can see photographs by local photographer: Ferne Millen at 


If prompted, enter this password: RECONCILIATION2014


         Welcome w Uncle David        Mel presents        Cllr Eddy Kontelj        Richard Marles MP on CR


RecinPark Banner May14



RecinPk - whole site photo      The flags   Show bags w balloons    Mick Ryan sings w flags  people


       Deadly Dancers 2     Deadly Dancers 1      Norm  Megan 2        Ollie  Mick        Renee 1 

Djillong banner 2 w Uncle David  John B    Craig  Mick    Close the gap guitar   The Storyteller w Glenn 2  Politicians

Community RecinPark Banner1      Community RecinPark Banner4       Community RecinPark Banner3     Chris Couzens w Uncle David  Ian Trezise MP       Damper making

  Stacey  Myranda    Tiger girls    Mick Margrette  Ron   Djillongnecklace    Mel  Sheenagh

      Enjoyment    Jay w kids  Brian    Chris  daughter    Boomergang making w DD     Bronwyn with grass figures   

Johnstone Park Dreaming podcaste         Juliet  Spencer        Edwina Greg  Vicky          Bead making  



Clonard College; Ocean Grove Primary School; Whitington Primary School; Portarlington Primary School;

North Geelong Secondary College; Newcomb Secondary College; Herne Hill Primary

GG Art - feet June14     GG Art - Clonard June14     GG Art - Recognise Me June14     GG Art - primary sch June14



Reconciliation in the Park is a FREE event in Johnstone Park on Sunday 1st June 2014, 10am - 3pm.

This event is organised each year by a partnership of Geelong One Fire with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative.

We are excited to be launching this new event logo which was designed and donated by local Aboriginal artist: Catherine Gibbs.

COLOUR LOGO Rec in park logo jpg 

Activities will include: Norm Stanley on the didgeridoo, The Deadley Dancers, Basket & Jewellery Making, Face painting & Boomerang making, Yarn with the Elders, learn about local Djillong history, chat about Constitutional Recognition and play The Storyteller game. Free BBQ and damper.

Local Aboriginal musicians: Mick & Ollie from The Louds, Craig Norman, Renee van-Parren

Mel King, a young member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op, is co-ordinating the event this year .

"I think this is a fantastic and exciting event that gives the local Aboriginal community an opportunity to put ourselves out there , share our culture and show the world what we can do, stomp out some of the discrimination about us. This year's Reconciliation in the Park will demonstrate local Indigenous artists, musicians, and other exciting activities."

Any queries please email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reconciliation in the Park is funded through grants from: City of Greater Geelong, Reconciliation Victoria & Geelong Connected Communities.


Let's Talk Recognition - A Children's Art Exhibition

At the Geelong Gallery, showing art works from local schools

24 May to 9 June 2014 

2012-LOGO Geelong Gallery lock up-web version

This exhibition and program is sponsored by the City of Greater Geelong, Deakin University and Cavalier Art Suppliers



Co-op Dancers  Flag flying webOn 12th December 2013 Geelong City Council held a ceremony to raise the Aboriginal Flag on the City Hall, on a permanent basis.

The community attended a "Welcome to Country' and acknowledgement from the Mayor, before the flag was raised, and local Aboriginal young people danced.