Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place (MMIGP) has provided a culturally safe and inclusive space for Aboriginal Victorians in Melbourne’s east to come together since 2005. Through a variety of Indigenous cultural activities that incorporate art, music, language and storytelling, MMIGP runs programs that meet the needs of the First Nations families and community members in the Eastern Metropolitan Region.
Yet they have never had the security of a permanent home. Shortly after I was elected to this place, I started a conversation with then Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon. Gavin Jennings, on how we could assist in providing the organisation with the security and certainty they deserve.
Therefore, it was a joyous moment to join with the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and my fellow Eastern Metropolitan Region colleague Sonja Terpstra, MLC, a few weeks ago to announce that the Andrews Labor government is providing over $4.4 million to MMIGP.
This funding will allow the community to purchase the current building in Ringwood East—on their sacred land. Importantly, it will provide First Nations Victorians in Melbourne’s east with a permanent home for future generations to gather in a culturally significant way.
Congratulations to all at MMIGP—particularly to Elke and Karen—for your ongoing and passionate advocacy work. You have led and educated us throughout this process.
From the first conversation I had with MMIGP to the most recent, it has been a privilege to work together and to share this journey with you. To quote the great First Nations activist Lilla Watson:
If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.
Always was, always will be.