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Indigenous group regains Axe Quarry

The second property is the Sunbury Earthen Rings, located near Melbourne?s Tullamarine Airport.

Jenny Macklin, the Federal Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, was at the ceremony where the titles were presented.

The properties will now belong to Wurundjeri Tribe and the Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council which will ensure the long term preservation of the sites that form part of the tribe?s cultural heritage.

Mt William axe quarry is a 7.5 hectare site, while the Sunbury Earthen Rings site is 9.1 hectares.

?Green stone axes from Mt William were traditionally traded by Aboriginal people over a wide area of south-eastern Australia,? Ms Macklin explained. ?The site contains the remains of hundreds of mining pits where the Wurundjeri people  obtained the green stone to make axe heads.?

Wurundjeri elder Annette Xiberras said the Mount William greenstone axe quarry, north of Melbourne, is her people’s “chemist, supermarket and university”.

ILC chairperson Dr Dawn Casey said it was appropriate that current generations of Wurundjeri people maintain and manage the cultural sites.

?The acquisition of these sites provide indigenous training opportunities in land management and enable the transfer of cultural knowledge from elders to youth,? Dr Casey said.

The Mount William stone hatchet quarry is exceptional for its size, intensity of quarrying and extensive work sites. The place shows that Aboriginal history in Australia extended back well before the arrival of Europeans.

Sources: The Australian, Federal Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin, Macedon Ranges Weekly, Sunbury Weekly

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