Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with Peek Whurrong elder Robert Lowe, Sr, from Warrnambool, along with Richard Riordan, the member for Polwarth. Robert is a well-respected gentleman with strong community connections.

He has contributed his time and knowledge for over 40 years, mostly in a voluntary capacity, to create a better understanding of cultural heritage. Some of the organisations he has worked with include Victoria Police, the RSL, Rotary, Warrnambool Community Garden, Friends of Swan Reserve, the Department of Justice and Community Safety, the Department of Health and Human Services, Warrnambool Magistrates Court, councils and shires, the Warrnambool Art Gallery, Clontarf Academy, Deakin University, South West TAFE, Brauer College, Warrnambool College and many more.

A testament to Robert is the long list of awards he has received, the most recent being the Premier’s award for Victorian Senior of the Year for service to the south-west community and the prestigious writing prize, the David Unaipon Award, for his memoir The Mish. Robert, Richard and I discussed cultural heritage issues, protocols, the protection of sites of cultural significance, challenges and opportunities.

We look forward to an ongoing dialogue with Robert as an invaluable source of Indigenous cultural knowledge.

6 March 2019