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Wombeetch Puyuun Reconciliation Park This park was once part of a proposed Aboriginal Reserve. It is now a symbol of reconciliation; a place for learning and reflection about the lives of the traditional Aboriginal owners of this country, and the impact of European settlement upon them.

For thousands of years, the Liwura gundidj clan of the Djargurd Wurrung tribe were the traditional owners of the country around Camperdown. Within a few years of the coming of the Europeans in 1839, most of the Liwura gundidj had been driven from their land and their numbers were in steep decline. Their way of life had been destroyed forever. 

In September 1854, ‘Bullenmere’, also known as ‘King Alick’, one of the few remaining Aboriginal people in the Camperdown area, lodged a petition with the Colonial administration. He requested that some land at Mount Leura, which had been ‘held by native custom as their inheritance and hunting grounds’ be reserved for the use of his family. 

The Colonial administration agreed to the request and within three months District Surveyor Robert D. Scott had prepared a plan for an Aboriginal Reserve at Camperdown. An area of 14.5 acres was set aside between the school site in Henderson Street and the Princes Highway, with 4.5 acres of this area being separately defined for the future use of Bullenmere’s young son, ‘Prince Albert’. It was planned to build a dwelling on the Reserve for Bullenmere and his family.

Sadly, the use of the Reserve by Bullenmere and his family never came to fruition. Bullenmere died soon after the plan for the Reserve was agreed to. Then in October 1860, despite vigorous representations by prominent citizens on behalf of Prince Albert, the Victorian Government abandoned all plans for the Reserve on the grounds that ‘the land was needed for the unexpected expansion of the township’. 

Surveyor Robert D. Scott subsequently prepared a plan for the subdivision of the Reserve into small allotments around a crescent and square, patriotically named as Albert Crescent and Victoria Square in honour of the British Royals. 

Prince Albert died in 1863, aged 16, at the property ‘Meningoort’ where he was employed as a stockman. With his passing, the intended Aboriginal Reserve faded into history.

The Wombeetch Puyuun Reconciliation Park was established in 2008 in Victoria Square – parkland which was once part of the proposed Aboriginal Reserve. It is situated to the north of the Camperdown Primary School.

The Reconciliation Park is named in honour of Wombeetch Puyuun. who when he died in February 1883, was the last member of the Liwura gundidj clan still living on Country.

The Reconciliation park features a native garden, Aboriginal art-work and interpretative signs. The launch of the park was celebrated on 2nd November, 2008. 

Credit: CAMPERDOWN : A HERITAGE STUDY – Assessment of places of cultural significance in the town of Camperdown. Study findings and final report to the Corangamite Shire, Volume 2 / Allan Willingham, 1998.

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