Pilk Purriyn Traditional Owner truth-telling to return on January 26

Published on 11 December 2023


Following on from a successful event last year, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners will again welcome the Surf Coast community to Country in Torquay on January 26, 2024 for reflection at Pilk Purriyn – sunrise – and deep listening to historic truth-telling.

The event will return for a second year against the backdrop of Warri Dja (Sea Country) at Cosy Corner, welcoming people of all ages, genders, races, religions and backgrounds.

Starting at 5.30am with sun rising on the water, it will include a traditional Welcome to Country, Smoking and dance ceremonies.

At its heart, Traditional Owners will share truths seeking to deepen community understanding of the traumas, loss and hurt that colonisation brought upon the First Peoples of the land.

Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation will again present the Pilk Purriyn event in collaboration with Surf Coast Shire Council, and supported by Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, GeelongPort and Give Where You Live.

About 2000 people attended the inaugural Pilk Purriyn event earlier this year. With the audience expected to increase in 2024, organisers are encouraging people to register for this free event via surfcoast.vic.gov.au/PilkPurriyn to help gauge numbers and enable sharing of updates.

The Cosy Corner space is a unique natural environment of Cultural significance to Wadawurrung People. Gathering together before first light, the emphasis will again be on deep listening and meaningful, compassionate presence.

Aunty Mary Shuttleworth, Wadawurrung Elder: “Pilk Purriyn meaning sunrise is symbolic of a new day. Through truth telling, Wadawurrung People will be able to share our history and the story of the world’s oldest living culture. 

“It is an opportunity to move forward and give others a greater understanding of why we invite them to koling wada ngal – walk alongside to achieve self-determination.”

Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor Liz Pattison: “Council recognises that January 26 is a day of sorrow rather than celebration for First Nations people and is proud to support Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and the Pilk Purriyn event, respectfully acknowledging so much loss and hurt.

“Our community demonstrated earlier this year a profound wish to participate in deep listening and to be there as allies for First Nations people. We encourage community members to again take this opportunity to recognise truths and a cultural richness spanning over 60,000 years.”

Great Ocean Road Coast & Parks Authority Chief Executive Officer Jodie Sizer: "As we come together at sunrise on Warri Dja for Pilk Purriyn, we proudly stand with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, recognising the profound importance of cultivating a space for respectful reflection and healing.

“In supporting this event, we reaffirm our commitment to amplifying the voices, values, rights, and interests of all Rights Holders throughout the Great Ocean Road region."

Organisers are committed to making this event as accessible as possible, while respecting the Cultural significance and natural beauty of this outdoor site.

Anyone who may find the terrain or lighting difficult is advised to arrive early with a support person if required. Those with additional access or support needs are encouraged to contact organisers directly at pilk-purriyn@surfcoast.vic.gov.au

People can find more information, including event FAQs via surfcoast.vic.gov.au/PilkPurriyn



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