The site for a new Lilydale kinder hosted an indigenous smoking ceremony to pay respect to the land, its elders, and ward off bad spirits.
Local elder Perry Wandin performed the ceremony at 435-437 Maroondah Highway, Lilydale, on Thursday 15 November.
By 2020, Lilydale Community Childcare will open a Swinburne Children’s Centre facility, in partnership with Westrock.
Construction on the 122-place purpose-built early childhood service and kindergarten is due to start this month and be completed by December next year.
The smoking ceremony marked the sod turning for the site and was in line with a Lilydale Community Childcare commitment to inclusiveness and respect for the traditional landowners, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.
Among attendees on the day were Vision Australia, Yooralla, Yarra Ranges Council, Victorian Aboriginal Childcare Association and EACH representatives, along with families and committee members and friends.