Returning Language to Country.
Bukareeyoo (pronounced Book-ar-ree-yoo) is the name that has been returned to the area of land known informally as the Ocean Grove Spit.
Community celebration event
The new name was gazetted on 29 June 2023, and to celebrate we are invited our communities to join us and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to celebrate the return of Wadawurrung language to this very special area of Wadawurrung Country.
Learn more about Bukareeyoo
Sarah Eccles, Wadawurrung woman and Healthy Country Project Officer (Warri and coastal Dja at Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation) explains:
It means a lot to see our Dja (Country) being named in Wadawurrung language and we appreciate the interest and support already shown for the name Bukareeyoo.
Wadawurrung people have our own language that is strongly connected to our Dja and people. Our old people spoke Wadawurrung fluently, but this was disrupted for many years. We are respecting our Elders wishes in reviving our language.
Having a Wadawurrung language name will help those who enjoy this cultural landscape understand whose traditional country it is, the cultural values it holds and ongoing connections it has to Wadawurrung people.
The partnership with Barwon Coast in working with us to bring Wadawurrung language back to Dja is deeply valued and in the spirit of Koling wada-ngal (let us walk together).
The area of land known informally as Ocean Grove Spit is Wadawurrung Country. Bukareeyoo is the name for this area of land. Bukareeyoo is a Wadawurrung word which means ‘between’. Bukareeyoo sits between two waters – the ocean and the river. Wadawurrung People would traditionally visit this area in the warm summer weather to camp and fish.
Bukareeyoo is used over summer and Easter periods as a campground and otherwise as a general recreation area. The seasonal campground on Bukareeyoo, formerly known as ‘Riverside Campground’ will be named Bukareeyoo Campground. This will come into effect for the Summer 2024 camping season.
It is a culturally significant place to Wadawurrung, with evidence of people gathering, connecting, and feasting here for thousands of generations within the midden sites. These cultural heritage values are captured and described in a Cultural Heritage Management Plan.
Wadawurrung people continue to come to Bukareeyoo, a place where we see the beautiful sunrise on our Warri (salt water), a place of fishing, caring for it, and connecting.
The new name was given to this area by the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. The process of naming Bukareeyoo is guided by the Geographic Place Names Act 1998 and the 2022 Naming rules for places in Victoria. The new name was gazetted in June 2023. Barwon Coast is the designated land manager for Bukareeyoo and we are committed to working alongside the Wadawurrung People to care for this area of the coast.
Wadawurrung Country encompasses an area from the Great Dividing Range near Ballaarat (Ballarat) to the Bay at Werribi (Werribee) and along the coast to Mangowak (Airey’s Inlet). It includes Djilang (Geelong), Ballaarat, the Bellawiyn (Bellarine) Peninsula and Surf Coast. More information is available at www.wadawurrung.org.au
How Do I Say Bukareeyoo?
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Wadwurrung representatives and Barwon Coast staff meeting on Bukareeyoo.