Cape Woolamai Aboriginal Art Sign

Welcome To Country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Bunurong / Boonwurrung people and pay respects to their elders past, present and emerging and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in our community today.

Phillip Island was part of the homelands of the Yallok Bulluk people of the Bunurong/Boonwurrung clan for many thousands of years before white exploration of the area began. The Bunurong/Boonwurrung were members of the Kulin nation of Aboriginal people. The Bunurong/Boonwurrung people called the island "Millowl". The Yallok Bulluk came to Millowl in the summer months to feast on shellfish, fish, small marsupials and mutton birds (short tailed shearwaters). Ochre was available at several locations on Millowl and Churchill Island, and would have been used as body decoration during ceremonies.

It is said the Bunurong / Boonwurrung visited in spring and summer when food was plentiful and the water was calm for crossing. Middens containing the remains of shellfish, shearwaters and marsupials can be found behind beaches and in dunes around the island including at Forrest Caves, Cat Bay, Summerland dunes and at Swan Lake where waterfowl and shearwaters are plentiful. Stone artefacts have also been found.

A midden at Point Grant dated at approximately 2,000 years contained various shells including limpets (85%) and abalone (5%). The bones of penguin, wallaby, possum and small amounts of seal and fish were also present. Stone tools, mainly flint flakes, were found as well as charcoal and ochre.

*This information is cited from the Phillip Island and District Historical Society website.