Jaara Community

Program Overview

Community Group/s

Jaara Nation


2009 onwards


Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Final work

Koorie Culture Map: 2020
The Eagle, the Crow and the Bat
Multi-touch Book: 2020
Animation: 2021
Boorp Boorp Boondyil: 2022

Senior Jaara Cultural Custodian, Uncle Brien Nelson began working with SharingStories in 2009. Uncle Brien oversaw the creation of a print book sharing a story about Bunjil the Eagle as passed down the Nelson family line. This work was continued when the Jaara Community led by Brien’s son, Uncle Rick Nelson, collaborated with SharingStories Foundation to turn this early work into a dynamic, interactive multi-touch book experience.

Since 2013, the foundation has worked with young people in the Bendigo and Castlemaine regions, led by Uncle Rick and other Senior Custodians, in partnership with St Peters Primary school and The Meeting Place, an initiative led by Nalderun Aboriginal Services in Castlemaine. During that time the multi-touch book interpretation of the Nelson story of The Eagle, the Crow and the Bat has been produced housing animations, soundscapes and an interactive map exploring multiple sites on Jaara Country.

In 2015, Uncle Rick Nelson requested that we work with the community to translate this content into a permanent installation that could be housed in Castlemaine for ongoing use by the community and providing a culturally rich reference point for visitors and tourists. We are now partnering with the Jaara Community and Alexander Shire Council on a major permanent installation initiative due to open in 2021. The installation will house a large-scale interactive panel, a 360 degree immersive Welcome to Country experience and a wide range of content relating to traditional food, the seasons and traditional land management. The new permanent installation will be opened in Uncle Brien’s memory, following his passing in 2019.

Since 2020 the Jaara community has:

Community Members
Uncle Rick Nelson (Senior Custodian/ Storyteller), Aunty Julie McHale (Cultural Custodian/ Education), Kathryn Coff (Community Co-ordinator), Aunty Bambi Lees (Cultural and Creative Facilitator), Donna Widdicombe (Community Co-ordinator).

Delivery partners:

Delivery Partners - Mount Alexander
St Peters Primary School_placeholder only