Home of the world's oldest engineering project gets new Aboriginal name

The home of the world’s first engineering project has changed its name from Mt Eccles National Park to Budj Bim National Park to help recognise the area’s Aboriginal history and significance.
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Home of the world's oldest engineering project gets new Aboriginal name

The Victorian Government this week announced the name change to acknowledge the cultural importance of the Budj Bim area.

Many scholars have identified the area as the world’s first engineering project, dating back at least 6600 years and preceding Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Egypt.

The region is home unique cultural heritage structures including existing permanent houses, fishtraps, channels and weirs for growing and harvesting eels. The Budj Bim region is listed as a National Heritage Landscape.

The structures are largely built from Basalt which is available in the quantity due to lava flows from nearby volcanoes in geologically recent times. The ruins continued to be used, maintained and extended by the local Aborigines over thousands of years.

The Gunditjmara engineers developed and managed the hydraulics required to farm and harvest kooyang (short-finned eel) and other fish.

In 2011, Engineers Australia Victoria Division erected an Engineering Heritage National Marker for the marking of the Budj Bim Aboriginal Hydraulic Works.

The Gunditjmara people view Budj Bim (meaning high head) as part of the ancestral creator’s body, which was revealed in the shape of the mountain following a volcanic eruption; with his forehead as the mountain and stones as the teeth.

The Victorian Government said Parks Victoria received over 1,000 responses to the name change after extensive community consultation.

Announcing the name change was a part of the celebrations marking the ten year anniversary of Native Title for Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, which represents the Gunditjmara people.