Despite its recent creation as part of flood protection works in the Lower Yarra, Herring Island has a cultural history which spans a considerable time period. A short history is outlined in Appendix 3.

Although Herring Island has not been surveyed for Aboriginal or archeological sites (consequently there are no records of Aboriginal culture from this area), Victorian Archeological Survey believe it is highly probable that the area would have been populated by the Wurundjeri tribe prior to the urbanisation which followed European settlement. It is possible that Aboriginal archeological material lies beneath layers of dredging spoil deposited on Herring Island.

Herring Island may also contain archeological material from the Depression period when numerous people supplemented their livelihood by fishing along the Yarra River.

More recently, Herring Island has been of special significance to the Scout Association of Victoria. During their tenancy of Herring Island (1951-1970) the Scouts were responsible for a significant component of the landscaping on Herring Island, and for the dormitory building and other structures which remain on Herring Island. The Committee of Management should encourage the continued participation of the Scout Association at Herring Island in documenting and interpreting the history of the Island.

To protect possible sites of archeological significance.
To include cultural aspects in the interpretation program for Herring Island.
High / Ongoing CR-1Avoid disturbance of lower layers of the soil profile, which may contain material of cultural/archeological significance. Where such disturbance is unavoidable prior consultation with the Victorian Archeological Survey is necessary.
High CR-2 Develop an interpretation program relating to cultural issues in consultation with the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council (Incorporated), the Scout Association of Victoria and other relevant groups.
Medium CR-3 Research the history of Herring Island.
Medium CR-4 Develop displays which depict the historical use and development of Herring Island.