The first Bayside people obeyed the laws of Bundjil, the creator spirit who travelled as an eagle – and Waarn the crow, the protector of waterways. What is now the Bay of Port Phillip was then a vast grassy plain, The Yarra – ‘The River of Mists” – winding its way to Port Phillip Heads.
One day, there came a time of chaos, the Boonwurrung fighting their Kulin Nation neighbours, neglecting their children, land, animals and crops. The sea became angry, rising and flooding the grassy plain, threatening to engulf all Boonwurrung areas. The people were frightened, asking Bundjil to save them.
Bundjil was angry with his people for their selfishness and neglect, saying they would have to change their ways. He directed the sea to stop rising, leaving the Bay and Mornington Peninsula. In return, the Boonwurrung mist ‘Obey the laws of Bunjil’ and ‘Do not harm the children of the land of Bundjil’.
Bunjil is an Australian Indigenous concept. Painted with local indigenous artist Benny Russel.