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Lendlease to launch Harpley Discovery Trail with Dreamtime stories

Harpley Discovery Trail

The natural and Indigenous history of the Werribee region in Melbourne’s southwest will be celebrated at the launch of the Harpley Discovery Trail, an interactive cultural awareness walk through Harpley’s wetlands and adventure park.

The Harpley Discovery Trail is the result of an innovative collaboration between Lendlease Communities and the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wadawurrung people, to respectfully capture and share the area’s cultural significance and the importance of wetlands for habitat and water quality.

The Trail also tells the story of the European settlers, including the famous Chirnside family

who came to the area for farming in the 19th century. Both groups were sustained by the area’s waterways and the rich variety of plants, birds, animals and fish found there.

A free mobile app called the ‘Harpley Discovery Trail’ has been developed to guide people along and features audio, a treasure hunt, environmental fast facts and information on the Wadawurrung.

General Manager for Lendlease’s Communities business in Victoria and South Australia, Tom Trevaskis, said this is the first time Lendlease has used modern technology to encourage community engagement with the landscape.

“The Harpley Discovery Trail and mobile app showcases our commitment to innovation and sustainability, and how technology can be used to provide a meaningful connection with the environment,” Mr Trevaskis said.

“In acknowledging and learning about the Traditional Owners of the land, it provides the new Harpley community with an enduring sense of place and belonging.

“The Trail also provides schools with an interactive tool to learn about the local Indigenous history and the importance of preserving our waterways, flora and fauna” he said.

Wadawurrung Elder, Uncle Bryon Powell, said he was thrilled that the area’s cultural history has been acknowledged in such an accessible way.

“On behalf of the Wadawurrung people, we are very proud to have worked so closely with Lendlease on the development of the Discovery Trail and mobile app. We welcomed the opportunity to contribute stories, songs and information about our culture so that the history and significance of the wetlands, birdlife and native plants can be enjoyed and celebrated by the wider community,” Mr Powell said.

The free launch event will see residents and local families enjoy Dreamtime storytelling from the Wadawurrung, ochre face and hand painting, Indigenous craft activities for children, and a native-inspired menu by acclaimed restaurant Charcoal Lane.

Funded by the Victorian Government and Lendlease, the Harpley Discovery Trail features interpretive signage through the adventure park and wetlands, interactive mobile app, an educational resource kit and website (www.harpleydiscoverytrail.com.au).

The Discovery Trail is the newest addition to Harpley, a Lendlease master-planned community located 3km from Werribee and 30km southwest from Melbourne.

Harpley recently achieved a Six Star Green Star – Communities rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, making it the most sustainable community in Melbourne’s west.

With almost 500 residents already calling it home, Harpley will transform more than 430 hectares of land into a thriving new waterside community creating up to 1500 jobs, delivering 4,000 homes, and building $52 million worth of transport infrastructure.

Harpley has dedicated more than 60 hectares of open space to lakes and wetlands and will eventually be home to more than 12,000 people. 

Harpley Discovery Trail Launch

Date: Saturday 22 April 2017

Time: 2–4pm

Location: Harpley Adventure Park, Corner Billeroy Way and Terama Chase, Werribee

For further information, please visit www.harpleydiscoverytrail.com.au

Download your invitation to the Harpley Discovery Trail Dreamtime Stories launch event here