In 2009, carbon dating found that a fishtrap system at Lake Condah in south-west Victoria was an incredible 6,700 years old. Constructed by the Gunditjmara people, it is one of five sophisticated fishtrap systems that were built around the lake’s edge. A permanent supply of freshwater and abundant eels, fish and water plants meant the Gunditjmara led a settled life there – an experience without parallel among Aboriginal societies and landscapes in Australia.
Written by Gib Wettenhall with the Gunditjmara people, The People of Budj Bim brings to life the amazing, unknown story about their traditional eel aquaculture systems and associated stone house settlements, once dotted throughout the lakes, streams and ponds on the Mt Eccles lava flow in south-west Victoria. Known as the Budj Bim landscape, it was the setting for what Robbery Under Arms author, Rolf Boldrewood, called the Eumeralla War, a six year battle fought by Gunditjmara clans against squatters taking over their land. Budj Bim was the first Indigenous landscape to gain National Heritage listing in 2004.
The full colour book with images throughout provides an accessible, plain English introduction to the Budj Bim landscape and its Indigenous history. It is aimed at tourists, tour leaders, school groups, the community and the public in general. Funding for research, writing and production was provided by Aboriginal Affairs Victoria.