MEMBERS STATEMENT – Unearthed: A Shared Heritage Archaeological Exhibition

Today I would like to make the house aware of a magnificent exhibition, Unearthed: A Shared Heritage Archaeological Exhibition, which is on display in the great hall at the City of Whittlesea for the next six weeks. On Monday I had the privilege of launching this exhibition as part of Victoria’s archaeology week. It is the first-ever heritage offset project of a major project in Victoria. The Mernda rail project is simply the gift that keeps giving. Not only is it a transportation project; it is a project that is unveiling and revealing Victoria’s colonial history and also bringing together the history of the Wurundjeri people, who have walked this land for 30¬†000¬†years.

I want to thank John Holland, the Level Crossing Removal Authority, Heritage Victoria, the consultant archaeologists and the City of Whittlesea’s heritage officers, Colleen and Lauren. The City of Whittlesea is one of only three or four local government areas across the state that have heritage officers, and I think other councils should learn from this. The exhibition shows artefacts and items removed from the original Bridge Inn Hotel, which was founded by Moses Thomas in the 1840s on the way to the Ovens diggings. The project has found ancient stone tools and indeed glass tools that Indigenous people fashioned after colonial settling. It is an amazing exhibition. I would urge everyone in the house to get along and see it.