Take a walk on the virtual side

A VIRTUAL indigenous heritage tour will teach the history and local significance of Point Ritchie through smartphone apps.

Gunditjmara elder Robbie Lowe at Point Ritchie, which is the venue for a virtual indigenous tour to be funded by a $70,000 federal government grant.

Gunditjmara elder Robbie Lowe at Point Ritchie, which is the venue for a virtual indigenous tour to be funded by a $70,000 federal government grant.

A $70,000 federal grant was announced this week to fund the Stories of Place Interpretive Tour at Moyjil Aboriginal Place, to be developed by Warrnambool City Council.

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the virtual walking tour would include the faces, voices and the stories of local indigenous people involved in the cultural history of the coast.

“The videos and application will result in a platform for a virtual tour guide for visitors to the area who will only need a smartphone or iPad to learn about the area for free,” Mr Tehan said. 

“Tours will be promoted on websites of participating organisations.

“The government’s investment through the indigenous heritage projects supports indigenous people to care for their land and heritage and this in turn helps to strengthen and preserve the history, culture and self-esteem of communities.”

Local Gunditjmara elder Robbie Lowe takes school groups through coastal indigenous sites and said the new virtual tour would be a useful incentive if Aboriginal people were in control.

“I would think we’d have that opportunity to be involved in it, so we’ll have to wait and see where it’s going,” he said.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said the funding announcement was part of a $1.6 million investment in 18 projects across Australia through the Indigenous Heritage Program, which aims to strengthen the connection between indigenous communities and their heritage values.

Mr Scullion said the projects focused on supporting, identifying, promoting and conserving the heritage values of places important to indigenous people.

“Projects cover activities including the conservation of burial sites, conducting heritage surveys and repair work, developing cultural heritage management plans and recording and passing on traditional knowledge,” Mr Scullion said.

“Indigenous heritage projects provide education, training, employment and business opportunities that help indigenous Australians to meet their cultural obligations to care for their country and maintain traditions.”

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