Interpretation signage for one of Ballarat’s hidden jewels

Mullawallah Wetlands is a locally significant body of water that for many years has been largely hidden from view. Part of the Ballarat Common, it is now managed by Ballarat Environment Network.

This project seeks to provide information about and interpretation of the wetland – its history and its importance for ecological diversity, the water cycle and community wellbeing.

Begun in late 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic significantly delayed the design process as well as the fabrication and installation of the signs.

A Brief History of the Wetlands: 

Prior to 1830 – The Wadawurrung People lived by and cared for Mullawullah Wetlands. Their connection continues today.

1830s – Colonial squatters move inland and settle on Wadawurrung lands. 

1840s – Wetlands become known as Winter’s Swamp; named after settler John (Jock) Winter.

1860s – Ballarat Common created; land around wetlands used for grazing until 1983. 

1981 – The Shire of Ballarat creates islands with moats for bird habitat.

1986 – A narrow causeway with screen planting added for easier bird watching. 

2001 – 60-hectare Wildlife Reserve on Public land declared.

2010 – Management delegated by the State Government (DELWP) to Ballarat Environment Network.

2016 – Renamed Mullawallah Wetlands in recognition of living Wadawurrung culture and connection to Country.