A MOVE to bring Aboriginal stories to the fore in Ballarat Heritage Weekend is great timing for celebration, Wadawurrung woman Tammy Gilson says.
City of Ballarat is stepping up the presence of indigenous culture and stories from this region for the annual event, which this year leads into Reconciliation Week.
Ms Gilson said her ancestors' stories were a key part of Ballarat's rich shared history.
"As a first nations person it's really important for us that we share our culture," Ms Gilson said.
"As a Wadawurrung woman, for a long time our history has been forgotten through generations. We're really proud what we do now to showcase our culture and let people come on to country and feel welcome. We feel a spiritual connection to country. It's import for us to share that with people."
This is the second year Aboriginal heritage has specifically held a place in Heritage Weekend. Highlights include a free aboriginal short film festival and cultural celebration featuring fire pits in Armstrong Street North. There will also be a cultural exhibition at Ballaarat Mechanics Institute including bush tea and culinary experience with Saltbush Kitchen.
Federation University's Fred Cahir, an associate professor in Aboriginal studies, will also launch his book My Country All Gone, The White Men Have Stolen It about the colonisation of Wadawurrung land between 1800-1870.
City of Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said Dr Chair's work helped to better understand more stories of our region and to reflect that we have much more to learn.
It's easy for us to reflect upon our gold rush history , which is important and did involve our indigenous people on the land, but there is equally so much more that's happened before that.
"In fact, a myriad of stories that just need to be told," Cr McIntosh said.
"To have this part of Heritage Weekend, telling these very important stories, very deep stories that reflect much for us, this is our opportunity to learn."
Ballarat Heritage Weekend features a range of events on May 25-26. More: ballaratheritageweekend.com.
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