18/08/18 - Indigenous Round

07 June 2018

Willunga has a rich history and heritage regarding its Indigenous community. Indigenous Australians have been residing in Willunga for over 40,000 years. There are many significant people, stories local Indigenous landmarks and sites within the Willunga Region. Willunga, or Ngangkiparringa as it was known 40,000 years ago, is owned by the Kaurna Aboriginal people. The Kaurna land stretches from Cape Jervis to Port Broughton.The most up to date and correct Indigenous spelling of the place name for Willunga is Wilangga, which was changed in 2010 by the Kaurna Warra Pintyandi Council. The meaning for Wilangga is ‘place of sacred trees’ or ‘place of green trees.’ Willunga is well known for its Indigenous heritage sites. Places like the ‘Wirra Creek’ and ‘Gum Tree Forest’ all have sacred indigenous meaning. The Wirra Creek was a sacred waterway where Indigenous Kaurna women bathed their new-borns in hope for a good life after they were born. Today, evidence of Kaurna Shields and rowing boats that have been cut out of the trees by local Indigenous residents remains.  

The Dreaming story of Tjilbruke has been told by many generations of the Kaurna People. It is about a man who was believed to have lived 40,000 years before European settlement in South Australia. The story tells how this man walked from the top of the Adelaide Plains down to Cape Jervis, using Willunga as an important resting place. Tjilbruke is believed to have been the creator of the Kaurna people.   

A significant man in Willunga’s Indigenous history is Mullawirraburka. Mullawirraburka is a local Indigenous Kaurna man who worked with and helped the European settlers in 1839. During this time, he worked with British colonies to keep the Indigenous language and culture alive. Many Indigenous and white settlers saw him as a father figure and thought highly of him, at a time in history when this type of relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people was uncommon.

How the Willunga Football Club can improve their respect and recognition of the Kaurna land  

The Willunga Football Club can improve their respect and recognition of Kaurna land by acknowledging its rich heritage and history and also, build or further develop reconciliation by highlighting and teaching this rich history to local club members and players.

In 2018 the Willunga Football Club will use the Indigenous Guernsey I designed with guidance from local Indigenous artist, Allan Sumner.The unveiling of this Guernsey will be accompanied by a brief education session on the story behind the Guernsey to club members and players.This session will highlight the rich heritage of the Willunga Indigenous community and importance of respecting this history. The Guernsey will be worn by the ‘A’ grade team at the Willunga Football Club during ‘Reconciliation Week’ in 2018.

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