Key messages

The Wirrigirri (Messenger) program was established to promote reconciliation and build improved understanding of Aboriginal history and culture throughout the department.

Each year, departmental staff volunteer to organise activities to highlight Aboriginal issues.

One staff member, Bruce Watson, contributed a story called 'Reconciliation through song' to Dhumba-nganjin.

In 2012, the Wirrigirri (Messenger) program was established to promote reconciliation and build improved understanding of Aboriginal history and culture throughout the department.

Each year, staff from across the department volunteer to organise and run activities in their work areas to promote and highlight Aboriginal issues.

The Sharing Stories Wirrigirri activity was undertaken in 2014. The aim of the activity was to give staff a way to share a personal view or reflection of what reconciliation means to them. And in doing so, learn from each other and continue the dialogue on reconciliation within their own work areas and the department.

Written stories contributed by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff were published in Dhumba-nganjin: Sharing stories to promote reconciliation.

The generosity of staff in sharing their personal stories is acknowledged and appreciated.

Permission was kindly given by the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation of Languages to use the translation of ‘sharing stories’ - Dhumba-nganjin for the book’s title. Dhumba means ‘talk’ and nganjin means ‘all of us including you’ in the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung languages.

As part of the Sharing Stories activity, lunchtime yarns involving guest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speakers were organised to complement staff discussion and involvement in reconciliation activities.

Dhumba-nganjin Sharing stories to promote reconciliation.  Note that images and stories cannot be extracted for separate publication without the permission of the department.

One staff member, Bruce Watson,  contributed a story called 'Reconciliation through song' to Dhumba-nganjin.

Bruce performed the song he wrote about this story at the launch of Dhumba-nganjin.

Watch the video of Bruce's performance here.

Contact details