N’arwee’t Carolyn Briggs at the Naming Ceremony of the Yalukit Willam Nature Reserve with Natalie, YWNA president.

The Yalukit Willam Nature Association was formed when the Elsternwick Park Coalition incorporated and constituted with membership in July, 2018. This coincided with the Bayside Council majority vote for the transformation of the former Elsternwick golf course into a wetland nature reserve. 

In August this year, the Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve was renamed as the Yalukit Willam Nature Reserve.

Pronounced Yaluk-ut Weelam, it roughly translates as ‘People of waterways/rivers’ and is a Boon Wurrung Clan name.

Boon Wurrung Elder, Professor N’arwee’t Carolyn Briggs suggested the name, which acknowledges the ancient living connection to Country of her clan group. The Yalukit Willam Nature Association and many other groups and individuals supported the call. The renaming is supported by the Bunurong Land Council. 

The epa committee met last Monday, at a special general meeting with N’arwee’t Carolyn Briggs (epa’s Indigenous Cultural adviser) present. Together, we discussed and then voted on changing our Association’s name. We are now Yalukit Willam Nature Association Inc. (YWNA) with the full support of N’arwee’t. 

Carolyn is passionate about bringing together Boon Wurrung knowledge on Caring for Country and western tools for regenerative living and working. The YW reserve is a special place for so many of us and particularly for the burgeoning plants and wildlife. It is now reclaiming itself in language. 

Active respect for First Nations with YWNA volunteer engagement to support the Bayside Council-led Masterplan’s success, ensures best practice for this unique regeneration project.

We are honoured and humbled to be able to reflect this ancient and living connection to Country in our Association’s name. We hope that all our members and local community will feel the same.

Caring for waterways through the YWNA Waterwatch program

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