Photo: Chris Hayward- Parks Victoria ranger
Linking traditional knowledge and scientific findings was one of the key elements of Connecting to Sea Country aboard the Pelican1 in 2013. As a marine scientist I have always been fascinated by the Aboriginal oral tradition recounting past times when Port Phillip Bay was dry and their ancestors hunted kangaroos and emu on grassy plains before a great flood filled the Bay. it is not so often that indigenous stories and scientific findings go hand-in-hand, but in this case the scientific evidence correlates closely with the stories that have been handing down over many generations.
Recent scientific findings now show us that around 2,800 years ago the entrance to Port Phillip Bay became blocked, cutting off the Bay from Bass Strait. As a result, the Bay sried out to create a grassy plain described in Aboriginal tradition. Around 1,000 years ago the blockage at the Heads broke down and the Bay was quickly filled in a castastrophic flood.
What better way to learn about these amazing events than aboard the Pelican1 on Port Phillip Bay with those long lost grassy plains just below us.
By Harry Breidahl
Harry Breidahl with Aunty Carolyn Briggs (Boonwurrung elder) on board Pelican1.
Photo: Natalie Davey