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Scarred Tree precinct

Delatite Indigenous Reference Group, DIRG received a Victorian Government Rural Infrastructure grant for an Indigenous precinct project adjoining the Mullum Wetlands at the entrance to the Mansfield township. A trail leads from the wetlands to the Scarred Tree precinct and is currently being upgraded for disabled access.

The Indigenous precinct project was facilitated in conjunction with Mansfield Shire Open Spaces Committee. The project has:

  • Relocated the Scarred Tree to a prominent position outside the Mansfield Information Centre.
  • Created a snake dreaming wall of individual ceramic tiles made by Mansfield youth and facilitated by ceramic artist Ann Ferguson Durkin.
  • Erected an information sign about Mansfield's Indigenous heritage.

Members of the Taungurung clan and the Mansfield community helped create the distinctive ceramic tiles at the base of the Scarred Tree. A ring of hands circle the base of the tree as a symbol of reconciliation.

The scarred tree was formerly held by the Mansfield Historical Society for many years and was at risk of weather deterioration. It has now been relocated under a protective roofing and proudly stands, floodlit for all to see.

Scarred trees are an important link to our Indigenous past. They provide tangible evidence of Aboriginal occupation and can often be used to source other Aboriginal artifacts, stone tools and archaeological sites.

Aboriginal scarred trees can be clearly identified because pieces of bark were stripped usually from the east side of the tree. This was done to allow the tree to heal slowly without being exposed to the hot north and west sun. Large pieces of bark were used to from canoes, small pieces were used to make shields, coolamons and for bark shelters. Aboriginal Affairs Victoria records scarred trees so that there will be a permanent record of Aboriginal heritage for all Australians.