Yalukut Weelam: the St Kilda Journey

The St Kilda journey on the 64 Ways of Being app allows players to engage in a process of urban play, rediscovering places through Indigenous-led cross-cultural storytelling and augmented reality.

If this is the first time you have used the 64 Ways of Being app, visit this page for information about how to find the starting point of the St Kilda journey and advice for getting the most out of the experience.

Players are guided to different locations in Birrang-ga (river country) by listening to N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM tell stories about language and places. The St Kilda journey also features music by Allara Briggs-Patterson and visual art by Jarra Karalinar Steel.  For a full list of credits, visit this page.

The St Kilda journey begins at the Ngargee (ceremony) tree, which is a 20-metre-tall red gum and believed to be up to 800 years old, making it the oldest known living resident in the City of Port Phillip. It’s the last survivor of a wattle forest interspersed with matured gums, that extended into Prahran.

At an MPavillion event in 2023, N’arweet told us that Ngargee was a place for celebrating guests coming onto Country. It was where the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boonwurrung performed songs and dance, ensured reconciliation after conflicts, and told stories. In recent times, the Ngargee tree has been the subject of a native title claim.

From the Ngargee tree to Albert Park, N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM ignites our imagination with descriptions of the wetlands and wildlife that thrived in this area. Once a temperate ‘Kakadu’ surrounded by the sea, rivers, creeks, lakes and lagoons, Albert Park is one of Victoria’s most visited parklands today.

Further into the St Kilda journey, we take a bush walk along Canterbury Road to St Kilda Beach and learn that for the Boonwurrung, the seasons were not mapped by a calendar but by changes in the natural environment, and the foods that were available. For example, when the coastal tea trees flowered in early November, it signalled a return of snapper into the Narrm. And from February through the November when there was plenty of sun, the ‘murnong’ (yam daisy) dried up, leaving its tuber to be collected by digging into the shallow ground.

These are just some of the examples that N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM shares with us throughout the St Kilda journey. Rich layers of cultural history are revealed through storytelling, and we learn that this rich landscape contained many foods, tools, and medicine plants that sustained the Boonwurrung for many thousands of years.

Slow down and immerse yourself in the complete St Kilda journey to discover everything it has to offer.

Once you have wandered the St Kilda journey, you could try one of the other journeys on 64 Ways of Being to continue your urban play adventure.