The City of Stonnington covers part of the indigenous Boonwurrung language area. The Yarra River and Gardiners Creek approximate the boundary between the Bunurong and their northern neighbour, the Woiwurrung.
Both groups camped along the river and creek banks where they sourced food including plants, fish, mussels, eels and waterfowl. The Bunurong clan most associated with the Stonnington area is the Yalukit-willam clan, whose country encompassed all of the City of Stonnington area, with the exception of the small pocket of the city to the east of Gardiners Creek, which was Wurundjeri-balug country (a Woiwurrung clan).
The suburb of Prahran takes its name from the Aboriginal word for the area, Pur-ra-ran. According to George Langhorne, a missionary to local Aborigines in 1837, Pur-ra-ran is a compound of two words meaning 'land partially surrounded by water'. Surveyor General Robert Hoddle adopted the name Prahran for official use.
Indigenous history research
You can read more about the Indigenous history of Stonnington in this detailed report: An Indigenous History of Stonnington: A report to the City of Stonnington(PDF, 22MB). The summary report Stonnington's Indigenous History(PDF, 2MB) contains a brief history, key people, Indigenous clans, countries and languages and significant sites.
Stonnington sits on the land of the Kulin Nations.
Find out more about Reconciliation on our Indigenous Reconciliation page.