Carefully preserving the past in Rosanna

Published: 9 November 2020

The theme of this year's NAIDOC week is 'Always was, always will be' and celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Over the past few months, a team of Aboriginal cultural heritage specialists, including members of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (Wurundjeri), have been undertaking an archaeological salvage in Rosanna to manage Aboriginal cultural heritage before works can commence at the site.

A number of artefacts were identified as present through the North East Link Project Cultural Heritage Management Plan, which the Wurundjeri developed together with project teams between 2018 and 2020. A number of items were uncovered, including plates, horseshoes and other historic items from the 19th and 20th century. Some artefacts that have been found are of Aboriginal cultural heritage and will now be registered as new 'heritage places' on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register. ‚Äč

Salvage in Rossana has taken place both by hand and using a small excavator to carefully dig soil to ensure that potential artefacts can be removed safely and without being damaged.

Excavated material is bagged, labelled and sent off-site to a facility where it's sieved and processed by Wurundjeri and Indigenous Civil Group.

When artefacts are found, they're individually bagged and catalogued so they can be assessed by specialists who will help determine their historical significance.

This work is being undertaken before the relocation of electrical and gas utilities under Lower Plenty Road gets underway later this year.