We work closely with three local Aboriginal groups: the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, the Boonwurrung and the Bunurong.
These groups are part of the broader Kulin Nation, the five language groups that traditionally lived in the Port Phillip region. The five language groups are:
In 2006 Stonnington Council commissioned an Aboriginal local history (at our suggestion) to inform its reconciliation actions. The full document, ‘An Indigenous History of Stonnington’ by Dr Ian Clark and Laura Kostanski is available on the City of Stonnington web site.
Stonnington has important links to the early settlement of Melbourne, and the disruption to the lives of the First Peoples who had lived here for over 60,000 years.
Significant Aboriginal personalities associated with the City of Stonnington include Derrimut, Benbow, Ningerrarnaro, Tullamarine, Jin Jin, and William Barak; and the Tasmanians Wooraddy, Truganini, and VDL Jack.
The book ‘Truganini. Journey through the apocalypse’ by Cassandra Pybus tells the story of the so-called last of the Tasmanian Aboriginals, Truganini, based on the journals of George Augustus Robinson. Robinson was the ‘Protector’ of Aboriginals in Tasmania and then Melbourne when it was founded and had a significant property on the banks of the Yarra in what is now South Yarra. He was a key figure in relations with Aboriginal people in Tasmania and Melbourne, often to their detriment rather than ‘protection’.
Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner also spent time at Robinson’s Yarra residence. They were significant figures in Melbourne's early history – see the City of Melbourne commemorative marker for them.