On Saturday 25th May 2019, sixteen people participated in the first Yalukit Willam bike ride, as part of Reconciliation week. The ride was designed to recognise and celebrate the continuing culture of the local Boon Wurrung people. Three years prior, City of Port Phillip had installed ten interpretive signs which provided some insight into the history of the Boon Wurrung people. On this ride, the BUG chose to visit these sites and thanks to Council were accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, Meyer Eidelson. He is the author of a book that was handed out to all participants: Yalukit Willam – The River People of Port Phillip (text shared here by generous permission of Meyer).
The ride was fully booked and everyone turned up on the day – enthused also by the beautiful weather we were fortunate to have, given the forecast hadn’t been great. The ride leaders (Georgie and Anna) met participants outside St Kilda Town Hall which was also the location of one of the ten signs; it provided information on Chief (Arweet) Derrimut of the Yalukit Willam clan.
It was a shame we didn’t have time to visit the sign at South Melbourne Market. Indeed a couple of people left the ride to head over there – as the City of Port Phillip had organised for Back2Bikes to run free bike safety checks for local bike riders. We also missed out the sign at the Fraser Street tram entrance on Canterbury Road – and instead headed to the Peanut Reserve in St Kilda. The sign there is backed by a beautiful mural created by street artist Adnate; it is a busy and bustling community, and in fact there was a footy game on at the oval. Amongst other information we were told the meaning of the words “Yangelly Yangelly” – if you don’t yet know it, or about this other important history and culture we recommend you start with visiting these signs, either on foot or by bike. Thanks to all for coming along, it was a fun and informative morning!