IT may not be widely known, but Lake Condah’s Aboriginal heritage pre-dates the pyramids and there’s a case being made to give the spot world heritage listing.
Few are aware of the region’s Aboriginal sites and archaeological history.
Heywood-based Aboriginal co-op Winda-Mara is hoping to put sites such as Lake Condah, known in the indigenous language as Tea Rak, on the map, starting with a boat.
“It’s just to ensure that they’re not destroyed. This is important to Australian culture — the Gunditjmara story of Lake Condah is significant and that’s why we’re trying to get world heritage listing,” chief executive Michael Bell explained.
Fish traps at Lake Condah are more than 6500 years old and were used to trap eels and fish in a network of ponds.
“It demonstrates that Aboriginal people didn’t just have one way of doing things, it was engineering at its best and it’s been acknowledged by the Australian engineering society,” Mr Bell said.
“The aqua system provided sustainable fishing, which meant people could live on country forever.”
About eight rangers are employed by Winda-Mara to maintain the fish traps — normally driving around the lake to make the inspections. But winter rains have flooded the area, making a boat the best option.
Indigenous wording on the federally-funded $40,000 boat reads Lady of the Lake — a title taken from a thesis written on the area by elder Iris Lovett Gardiner.
“Tours have been regular and we’re just in the middle of reviewing the Budj Bim tourism and a master plan is due for release in the next couple of weeks so that’s going to set out the vision for how we operate,” Mr Bell said.