The Indigenous nation structure diagram should not be considered complete or definitive. Very little material exists on the story of the traditional owners of what is now Melbourne because of the extremely rapid European occupation. Within six years of the official settlement of Melbourne in 1835, the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation had been settled by nearly 12,000 Europeans.
Download the Bayside Indigenous nation structure (PDF, 260.74KB)
Traditional inhabitants of the area were severely affected by violent attacks from Europeans, introduced diseases and inter-tribal warfare, which had been inflamed by the kidnapping of women. Clans were particularly susceptible to destruction because of their close relationship with the country.
Settlement of the Bayside area commenced in 1835 and by the 1850s the townships of Brighton, Elsternwick, Sandringham and Beaumaris had all been laid out. The traditional life ways of the Woi Wurrung and Boon wurrung people were altered rapidly and almost irreparably. Native game animals were driven away, plant foods lost under grazing stock and fresh water supplies put under pressure.
Rapid population decline and displacement disrupted traditional oral history telling and by the time European settlers thought to record information about Indigenous people, it was already too late.
The lack of material available makes them the most poorly understood of the Victorian tribes. For these reasons, traditional land ownership remains disputed and/or difficult to prove today and differences in interpretation of Bayside cultural heritage exists.
This diagram does not wish to confirm one interpretation of history over another, but aims to bring together existing information.