Place to reflect

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Koomal Dreaming owner-operator Josh Whiteland and Dunsborough and Districts Progress Association committee member Trish Flower demonstrate the culturally significant Djiljit Mia gardens in Dunsborough which will open next week.
Camera IconKoomal Dreaming owner-operator Josh Whiteland and Dunsborough and Districts Progress Association committee member Trish Flower demonstrate the culturally significant Djiljit Mia gardens in Dunsborough which will open next week. Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

As reconciliation week concluded a new day dawned on the Djiljit Mia community garden in Dunsborough.

The project focuses on children, community and connecting to country, and has been co-ordinated by Koomal Dreaming, the City of Busselton and the Dunsborough and Districts Progress Association.

It has taken 18 months of planning and three months of construction with $350,000 of community donations to finalise the garden which pays respect to the traditional custodians and their ties to the Dugalup Brook area. Koomal Dreaming owner-operator Josh Whiteland said the garden was a community-led initiative that acknowledged country and celebrated culture.

“I think this is a step closer to reconciliation and is one of the first acknowledgements of country in the City of Busselton,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity for people to learn more about local culture and a place where children can grow up learning more as well. The volunteers and people involved have done an incredible job and everyone should be really proud.”

With current protests around Australia in support of American civil rights movement Black Lives Matter and against Indigenous deaths in custody, Mr Whiteland said the timing of the garden opening was “perfect”.

“I think it’s perfect timing, we’re returning to celebrate and connect to country and look after country better, and this is one of the places people can reflect on culture.”

Dunsborough and Districts Progress Association committee member Trish Flower thanked the Dunsborough community for helping to highlight Aboriginal culture and connecting people.

“It couldn’t have happened without the community but we’ve created something that we can all take ownership of,” she said. “It was a challenge initially because the City hadn’t had a community group wanting to do a project of this size and scale.” The garden will be open to the public next week.

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