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Knox's Aboriginal heritage

Knox City Council acknowledges, respects and shares in the customs of the Kulin Nation. Knox is home to the second largest population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Melbourne's eastern metro region.

Knox is part of the Kulin cultural nation. It stands on the edge of the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri and the Bunurong.

The Kulin Nation occupied Central Victoria from Port Phillip Bay to the upper reaches of the Goulburn and Lodden Rivers.

Knox's heritage and history

Before European settlement, Knox's creeks, wetlands and forests were rich with resources.

For thousands of years, the creeks, hills and plains now known as the City of Knox have been cared for by the Traditional Custodians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Knox come from many different nations within Australia, including the Traditional Custodians and Stolen Generation.

The practices of the oldest living culture and the contributions of Aboriginal people, local Elders and communities to Victorian life continue to enrich Australian society more broadly.

Knox City Council, located at the foot of the Dandenong Ranges, possesses places of historic significance to the Kulin nation. Important cultural and historical sites within Knox hold both the traditional knowledge of the First People and the traumatic stories of colonisation.

Cultural sites in Knox include:

  • campsites
  • stone tools
  • scar trees
  • travelling routes or songlines.

Many main roads around Knox are ancient songlines, such as Stud Road.

Prior to settlement, Knox would have been a place of meeting between the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people.

Dandenong Creek

This creek was an important source for food and water in the area. Stone artefacts and scarred trees dotted the landscape.

Police Paddocks and the Native Police Corps

The most significant site for our post-settlement Aboriginal history is the Police Paddocks in Rowville. The Native Police Corps was established here and it worked across the entire Knox area.

More information

Learn more about:

Changes to land boundaries

On July 1 2021, new boundary variations in relation to Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) were put into effect by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council. Knox City Council acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation

Care has been taken to discuss the complexities of Traditional Ownership of Country as sensitively as possible. However, it must be acknowledged that even while taking this care, there is deep sorrow and pain involved for our Traditional Custodians and families.

A searchable map of the new RAP boundaries is available.  To find the relevant RAP for the areas where you live work and play, enter a specific address in the top right-hand corner.

Find out more about Registered Aboriginal Parties in Victoria.

More about the Kulin Nation

Bunjil the Eagle

Bunjil took the form of both human and an eagle. It created the land of the Kulin Nation.

Find out more:

The Wurundjeri and Bunurong people

Find out more about the people, places and events in our Aboriginal history.


Wominjeka means ‘welcome’ in the language of the Bunurong and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.

Reconciliation at Knox

Find out more about our Aboriginal reconciliation activities.

First Nations e-News

Subscribe to our First Nations e-News and stay up to date on events, Council updates, requests, opportunities, news and more.

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