Merri Merri Wayi
Merri Merri Wayi - meaning Merri Merri (and) Us - is the Woi-wurrung language name granted to the collaboration by Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder Aunty Gail Smith and formally registered with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Council.
The language speaks to the heart of this initiative, a community-led collaboration where all of ‘us’ can get involved to create regenerated, safe, thriving and healthy places for communities to connect to each other and to the Merri Creek.
Merri Merri Wayi is being shaped by the community. Between May 2021 and May 2022, the community shared what they love about the creek, their vision for how it could be, and their priorities for the environmental, social and cultural values that contribute to a thriving and healthy ecosystem.
The consultation with the community defined the following priorities. Each priority has activities and actions to contribute to the overarching goal of a thriving and healthy ecosystem. This detail can be found in the Merri Merri Wayi Community Priorities Report.
- Community education and involvement
- Indigenous ecological and cultural knowledge
- Connecting to and caring for nature
- Peaceful and safe space
- Recreational use
- Shared pedestrian and cycle use
Below, you will find a recording of Aunty Gail introducing the name alongside the traditional name for the creek, Merri Merri, which means rocky rocky. Aunty Gail goes on to speak of the importance of bringing language, knowledge and culture back and how all of us are needed to care for Country.
Merri Merri Wayi Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung naming
We invite you to keep engaged with Merri Merri Wayi by clicking the Follow button at the top of the project page.
We also invite you to keep the conversation going with us and others by commenting on what you love about the creek and your vision for how it could be, in the feedback tool further down this page.
The call for a Merri Creek & Surrounds Visioning exercise arose amongst a range of community organisations and community members, who came together following the attack on a woman along the creek in East Coburg in late 2019.
The Merri Creek Coburg Safety Survey Report was an important response to this terrible incident, with recommendations that action be taken in the following three realms to improve the safety of the creek:
- Building communities
- Communication & engagement
- Infrastructure and maintenance
Community organisations and community members also recognised the opportunity to build on existing work and action, as well as coming together to find new ones.
Thus a community visioning exercise was proposed and endorsed by Merri-bek City Council in 2021.
The council secured funds to engage an appropriately skilled consultant to undertake this exercise and CERES Consulting was appointed to be the Consultant on the Merri Creek & Surrounds Visioning exercise. As part of its approach, CERES engaged Think Impact as subject matter experts in the Collective Impact framework to collaborate on the facilitation and synthesis of community consultation workshops.
The Merri Creek is an iconic and important ecosystem with more than 40,000 years of human interaction and Traditional Ecological Knowledge from the Wurundjeri peoples. This initiative acknowledges the past, present and future role Traditional Owners have on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung peoples. It also acknowledges the thousands of people who volunteer and continue to work to protect Merri Creek, notably the Friends of Merri Creek and the Merri Creek Management Committee. .