The Lake Boort Region scarred trees are one of the most significant Aboriginal cultural landscapes not only in Victoria, but also Australia. As a significant cultural place, Lake Boort and the surrounds provide a vividly unique Aboriginal landscape showing how the Dja Dja Wurrung people have occupied this region.
Today there are estimated to be well over 500 scarred trees in the Lake Boort vicinity retaining the scars from the cutting of bark for canoes, shields, and food, water or baby carriers. It is one of the few remaining sites in Australia where you can see trees with toe-hold scars, bark removed for drying possum skins, bark for shelters, possum extraction holes, ownership markers, bark used for grinding flour and bark cuttings for burials.
The site is not only significant because of these extraordinary trees, but for the many mounds (over 40) including cooking ovens, artifacts and ceremonial sites surrounding the Lake.
What is absolutely unique is the ability for visitors to see immediately how the community have lived by this lake for 1,000s of years. Seemingly frozen in time, the area gives us a real insight into what was happening at this time, and provides a rare opportunity to witness an outstandingly rich cultural landscape that sits right on our doorstep.
This presents us with an important opportunity. Not only to manage and protect this precious site, unique in Australia, but also to raise awareness of the extraordinary Aboriginal cultural heritage that exists here in Victoria.
Work has begun to raise awareness of these Aboriginal scarred trees and cultural landscape, to garner support for the preservation, management and wider appreciation of the site, placing this important Aboriginal place on the maps for Australians and visitors.
There is a small window of opportunity to protect this extraordinary heritage, which needs to be initiated as soon as possible in order to create optimum outcomes for the cultural heritage, and the benefits it may provide the Aboriginal community, the local community of Boort and the nation. (Andy Long, Scarred Tree specialist)
For all media enquiries, please contact Sharon Wells on 0419 508 619.