Lake Bolac Eel Festival - Inside the Healing Walk

Regional Arts Victoria

The “Healing Walks” have been an integral part of the Lake Bolac Eel Festival since its inception in 2005.

Lake Bolac Eel Festival

The Lake Bolac Eel Festival highlights cultural and environmental issues through art, music, forums, dance, and other activities.

4 minutes

The “Healing Walks” have been an integral part of the Lake Bolac Eel Festival since its inception in 2005. 

The initial concept for the event was to walk along the waterways in the Lake Bolac area to emulate the travels of the traditional owners on their way to harvest eels during the Autumnal migration. 

Over the years the walks have covered many of the local waterways including the Hopkins River, Fiery Creek, and Mount Emu Creek with the support of landholders and the CMA.  

The video starts at the mouth of the Hopkins River in Warrnambool and symbolises the migration of the Sort-Finned Eel upstream to the ever-changing waters of Lake Bolac.

The journey shares similarities with human movement along waterways to the lake and other water bodies where district aborigines, once upon a time, gathered to conduct trade and other business, including harvesting Short-Finned Eel (Kuyang- in Gunditjmara language). 

The Healing Walk hosts small groups of people who walk across country and waterways to acknowledge this process and give respect to the environment and the legacy of Aboriginal ancestors. 

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