Mayapa U Budj Bim (2020)

“On 6 July 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee officially inscribed the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape onto the UNESCO World Heritage List.  The inscription observed the outstanding universal values of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape as follows:

Criterion (iii): The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions, knowledge, practices and ingenuity of the Gunditjmara. The extensive networks and antiquity of the constructed and modified aquaculture system of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape bears testimony to the Gunditjmara as engineers and kooyang fishers. Gunditjmara knowledge and practices have endured and continue to be passed down through their Elders and are recognisable across the wetlands of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in the form of ancient and elaborate systems of stone-walled kooyang husbandry (or aquaculture) facilities. Gunditjmara cultural traditions, including associated storytelling, dance and basket weaving, continue to be maintained by their collective multigenerational knowledge

Criterion (v): The continuing cultural landscape of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is an outstanding representative example of human interaction with the environment and testimony to the lives of the Gunditjmara. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape was created by the Gunditjmara who purposefully harnessed the productive potential of the patchwork of wetlands on the Budj Bim lava flow. They achieved this by creating, modifying and maintaining an extensive hydrological engineering system that manipulated water flow in order to trap, store and harvest kooyang that migrate seasonally through the system. The key elements of this system are the interconnected clusters of constructed and modified water channels, weirs, dams, ponds and sinkholes in combination with the lava flow, water flow and ecology and life-cycle of kooyang. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape exemplifies the dynamic ecological-cultural relationships evidenced in the Gunditjmara’s deliberate manipulation and management of the environment.

Pittirrit and his story is an important story that connects the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape through Dhauwurd Wurrung language for the continuing connection to Gunditjmara country from our ancient ancestors to our community today and into our future”.