Djab Wurrung Embassy welcomes union support

The Djab Wurrung Embassy between Ararat and Buangor welcomed a Victorian Trades Hall Council convoy yesterday of 26 vehicles, carrying approximately 100 people.

Protesters are currently playing the waiting game after an eviction notice – giving those at the site 14 days to leave – expired late Wednesday. Victoria Police have not made comment on if or when they will take action. Major Road Projects Victoria have begun initial works such as surveying.

PHOTO: Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy

Yesterday, the embassy shared its humbleness regarding the union’s solidarity and said that support at the Embassy has continued to grow.

“We’ve been standing here peacefully, stamping our spiritual authority on our country for 15 months. To have our union brothers and sisters behind us only strengthens our position,” Embassy representative Amanda Mohamet said.

“We’re not going to thank people being here, because while we uphold this fight we have no freedom. But we welcome everyone who comes to show their respects on our country.”  

The Victorian Trades Hall Council helps organises activities and campaigns with and on behalf of affiliated unions. It’s made up of 40 affiliated unions, representing approximately 430,000 members in Victoria. 

The council carried a motion in March without opposition, throwing their support behind the Traditional Owners “in their campaign to stop the removal and destruction of important sacred trees threatened by VicRoads’ planned Western Highway extension.

PHOTO: Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy

The Embassy said the convoy arrived with Indigenous flags flying, a beautiful sight for those already at the camp.

“The union movement understands what struggle is, right now we have no justice on our country. We stand proud of all our mobs right across this beautiful continent, all over the landscape and we stand united with their struggles and their wars,” Mohamet said.

“At the end of the day, all we’re asking is for our country, our homelands to be safe.”

“We’re asking for Daniel Andrews to follow this demonstration from the unions, to come and show his respect on our country, cancel the eviction notice and conduct an open dialogue with our First Nations People.”

The Djab Wurrung Embassy has been asking for physical support on the ground but also financially as well. They have been raising money since June 2018 to support those on the ground.

PHOTO: Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy

“All money raised will go towards accommodation for elders and others who can’t camp, travel funds for mob to get out there and other needed costs to maintain the camp until we the trees are protected,” the GoFundMe description reads.

Since it’s establishment, $230,960 has been raised by 4,383 people. That amount is $130,960 more than the Embassy’s initial goal of $100,000. The highest donation has been $5,220.

The Embassy says it welcomes any support both physically and financially.