The Creation of Port Phillip

It seems silly to have a story involving the creation of a place with a name given to it by the British, but unfortunately the Aboriginal name of what is now Port Phillip was unavailable.

The Great Spirit went hunting with his six trusty wirinuns and a number of other men at what is now Port Phillip in Victoria, which was then a wide plain. While they were away, and their wives engaged in collecting food for the evening meal, only a few old women and children remained in the camp.

The women were so immersed in camp gossip that they failed to notice what the children were doing. An argument had arisen and the boys had taken sides. Blows were exchanged and, in the midst of the excitement, a dish of water was upset. If it had been an ordinary coolamon, no harm would have been done but, as it happened, it was the one that belonged to Bunjil and of course possessed magic properties.

When it was knocked over, the contents were spilt, but that was only the beginning. A never-ending torrent poured out of the dish, flooding the encampment and spreading across the plain. At first the water was shallow, but as the stream continued to gush over the side of the dish, it rose, inundating the hills and threatening a much wider area.

Bunjil had been mildly surprised when he first noticed the tide of water at his feet. As it grew deeper, and his men found themselves waist-deep in the water, he realized that he must act quickly if he were to save the newly-made world from destruction.

Plucking two huge rocks from a nearby hill, he threw them on to the ground. They fell on the edge of the creeping waters, not far from each other. He ordered the stream to flow between them and lose itself in the ocean. He was just in time. The waters remained where they were, ebbing and flowing between the rocks that guard the entrance to Port Phillip.

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