Yarra celebrates the Djerring Centre, honouring First Nations community
Thursday 29 June 2023
Yarra City Council is celebrating the renaming of The Djerring Centre, in collaboration with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. The centre in Abbotsford was previously known as the Collingwood Seniors Centre.
The renaming of the Centre as Djerring (pronounced "jerr-ing"), suggested by Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Gail Smith, means “joining and uniting together.” This concept aligns with Yarra's Yana Ngargna Plan, emphasising the visibility and recognition of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people's culture, issues, and achievements in Yarra.
On Thursday 22 June, an event to mark the occasion was held featuring a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, led by Wurundjeri Elder Perry Wandin. Over 80 attendees were able to engage in a meaningful and educational experience, gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of place, country, and First Nations stories in Yarra.
The Djerring Centre has undergone a number of recent upgrades to revitalise the centre and cater for future needs. Following consultations with user groups and the community, Yarra City Council has transformed the centre into a more accessible space, where people of all ages can come together to share common interests.
Thanks to a $92,000 grant from the Victorian Government's Universal Access Scheme, a new accessible pathway has been completed, enhancing the overall visitor experience. It features an entry ramp and doorway upgrades to meet building accessibility standards and ensure equitable, flexible use.
The interior of the venue has also been improved with updated audio-visual equipment and improved acoustics. Local artist Sam Yong has adorned the Djerring Centre's exterior with a captivating artwork showcasing the region's native flora and fauna, including endangered species.
The Djerring Centre's reopening has been met with enthusiasm from the community, as it provides a vibrant meeting place for all. Yarra City Council remains committed to creating an age-friendly and inclusive environment, as outlined in our Active and Healthy Ageing Strategy.
We extend our gratitude to the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation for their collaboration in achieving this significant milestone. We are excited to witness the Djerring Centre's flourishing as a hub that supports social connections and community wellbeing.