The Smith Family - Totems add beauty to Lake Hyland

As you wander along the shores of Lake Hyland, you will no doubt notice the addition of eleven colourful Totems framing the beautifully crafted Apology Seat which was installed earlier in the year.
The Totems form part of the ‘Apology Day’ commemorative project, and is funded through the Healing Foundation in partnership with The Smith Family’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy Project.
Eleven schools in Morwell and Churchill designed and painted their individual Totem with amazing designs that tell a local Gunai/Kurnai Dreamtime story ‘The Southern Cross and Nerran the Moon.’
Approximately 60 people gathered for the official unveiling on November 13, with most of the primary and secondary students and teachers involved in the designs in attendance.
Mayor Graeme Middlemiss, Councillor Dan Clancy, and members of Victoria Police, Uniting, Gippsport, Ramahyuk and Victoria Aboriginal Childcare Agency (VACCA) were also in attendance.
The Totems and commemorative seat will form a restful place of contemplation and reflection for the community.
Christine Johnson, a local Gunai Kurnai woman, has facilitated the project through her role with children’s education charity The Smith Family.
Christine said, “It is appropriate to have this story (The Southern Cross and Nerran the Moon) told by the lake so when you sit there at night you can see the moon and the Southern Cross.”
The project facilitators would like to thank the schoolchildren and school staff, parents, friends and community members who attended the Totem unveiling and a particular thank you to Barb from Bunnings for the donation of paint for this project.