BALLARAT will soon play host to the biggest Aboriginal commemoration space in Victoria.
Dreamtime, a concept that will see a new precinct built within the Ballarat Cemetery, will provide a specific resting place for indigenous people in way that has never existed in the city before.
It is based on a project in Echuca, which was the first of its kind in Victoria.
The $200,000 project will also serve as an education space for Ballarat people and visitors, built to enhance reconciliation and provide a resting place for many members of the Stolen Generation who are unable to be buried in their homeland.
Ken Hull from Finding Futures is spearheading the idea in Ballarat and says it is a project he has wanted to bring to Ballarat for some time.
It will be constructed by clients of Finding Futures - a training and employment service for people with disabilities.
Project coordinator Ken Hull said it would be a community-owned project that would bring the community closer.
Although it will be made to recognise the historical significance of Aboriginal people in Ballarat, it will still be open to people of any race or culture wanting to be buried in the area that recognises the traditional owners.
“It is going to have a massive spiritual side to it, it’s going to be fantastic,” said Mr Hull.
“We thought it would be a great concept for the community. It’s about closing the gap between indigenous people and the rest of the community and it will certainly help do that.
“We’re very excited.”
Work is due to begin at the site by the end of the month, with the finished project to measure 75x35 metres in size.
Mr Hull said the project, which has backing from City of Ballarat and has worked closely with Wadawurrung, the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-Operative and a number of other indigenous groups, would be one of the biggest in Australia.
A large amount of the materials required for its construction have been donated from local businesses, which Mr Hull said had made the project possible.
It will be surrounded by a stone wall and will feature a range of indigenous decoration and memorials.
It is due to be completed by mid-next year.