Weedy Sea Dragon turned up to launch the beginning of Two Bays 2011 and found a girlfriend. Their meeting produced a mirror dance as they wove their way through supporters gathered for Pelican's annual pilgrimage of Port Phillip and Western Port Bays.
The mirror dance not only celebrated Two Bays but produced Weedy Sea Dragon babies.
Ian Cumings directing his wonderful puppets. Behind him is the new home for the Docklands Ocean Education Centre.
Janet Bolitho, Port Phillip councillor once again gave voice to her support to the project by MCing the proceedings. She has been helping us launch the program for the last six years. Always putting people at ease and infectious in her enthusiasm for the project's ideals and aims.
Pictured: L-R Bonnie Fagan (Wathaurung), Pam Pedersen (Yorta yorta), Violet McPhersen,(Wathaurung), Dianne Kerr (Wurundjeri), Brian Powell (Wathaurung) and Natalie Davey from Pelican Expeditions.
Two Bays has always connected with, celebrated and learnt from the Traditional Owners of the Sea Country we work in. This year members of the Wathaurung and Wurundjeri tribes came to do a Welcome. Every year Carolyn Briggs from the Boonwurrung has performed a Welcome but was unfortunately unable to be present on the day. She sent her apologies and in the Welcome Brian Powell mentioned how happy he was to be present at a joint ceremony of tribes of the Kulin Nation.
Pictured L-R Brian Powell, Ian Walker, Bonnie Fagan
Ian Walker, who is the Director of Healthy Parks Healthy People, Parks Victoria lent his support to the program. Parks Victoria has been a stalwart of Two Bays since its inception 6 years ago both financially and in keen participation and design of the program. Two Bays is designed for strong collaboration across agencies that manage and look after the Bays and as a forum for sharing the values and wonders of the Bay life that they seek to protect.
Peter Harris (pictured above) from Tall Ships Victoria was invited to speak at the launch as it was a wonderful opportunity to share the creation of The Docklands Ocean Education Centre. Shed 2 which sits alongside Pelican's berth in Melbourne and is home to Tall Ships Victoria and their quest to restore the Alma Doepel for future use as a research and education vessel. The education centre will enable Melbourne city to have a space dedicated to marine education and act as a connector to the other centres around the Bays such as Ricketts Point Marine Care and Queenscliff Marine Discovery Centre .
Taylor beating out the rhythm for the Weedy mirror dance.
Professor Jan Carey from Melbourne University came down and became a part of the sea-grass meadow. She has been working with Two Bays for the last two years running the marine pest program with her student Kim Miller.
Some of the terrific people from Parks Victoria. John Tunn working with the Indigenous Partnership branch, Bill Jackson, the new CEO of Parks Victoria (a surprise guest and an incredible new asset to Parks Vic coming from leading the ICUN in Geneva ), Steffan Howe, head of Marine Science and Mark Rodrigue, Marine Projects head and without whom Two Bays would be still be an idea in Pelican's head!)
To finally sing the project into being we also had the Songlines VACCA choir sing two songs. The first being Richard Franklnd's song The Red Black and Gold and the second was song and dance about a seagull. Beautiful singing and guitar playing!
After the formalities many of the guests got on board for a short spin on Pelican around Docklands. Pelican1 was launched from a wharf nearby seven years ago and as I write this and am able to reflect a moment I can recognise that she is doing exactly what we built her for and dreamt about during the 6 year building process.
photos; Garry McKechnie, Samia Goudie and Mark Rodrigue