16 March 2022

Closing the Gap Day at Yarram and District Health Service carries special significance and today’s celebration more than ever.

It marked the official unveiling of five Aboriginal shields, representing the clans of the Gunaikurnai people, who are the traditional owners of much of Gippsland. The shields were made by the Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place and represent:

  • Brataualung people
  • Brayakaulung
  • Brabralung people
  • Tatungalung people
  • Krauatungalung people

The Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place, near Yarram, is a culturally appropriate learning place, supporting up to 18 Koori men who are undertaking Community Corrections Orders.

YDHS Chair, Shaun Braybrook, is Operational Manager at Wulgunggo Ngalu and has helped forge a strong partnership between the centre and YDHS.

One of the centre’s participants, Russell Kennedy, has spent the last four months working with volunteer art teacher, Peter Corser, to make the shields using local elm and traditional ochre colours – red and yellow. The shields are located at the front entrance to YDHS.

As YDHS Chief Executive Officer, Paul Head, said in addressing the large crowd who attended: “These shields will be a permanent reminder of the strength of Aboriginal Australians and the work we need to do together to address the inequities locally and beyond.”