Aboriginal Cultural Heritage:
The coastal area of the Jawbone Marine Sanctuary and surrounds is of high significance to Aboriginal people. The Boonwurrung occupied the Port Phillip and Western Port area, from the Werribee River in the west to the Tarwin River in South Gippsland. The ancestors of the Yalukit Willam clan, one of six clans that make up the Boonwurrung language group, were inhabitants of a small strip of coastline north of the Mordialloc Creek following around to the Werribee River. The Yalukit Willam clan frequented the coastal area around Jawbone to catch fish and gather shellfish from the reefs and to travel and communicate with other clans.
European Cultural Heritage:
The Jawbone Marine Sanctuary is home to five shipwrecks listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The sanctuary was used as a scuttling ground for ships that had outlived their usefulness. The exposed location, rocky bottom, proximity to Williamstown and restricted public access made it the perfectl place to scuttle wrecks. The locations of two wrecks, the Macedon and Carmen, have been identified in the sanctuary, and three other wrecks, the Agnes, Baldrock and Ester, are known to be in the sanctuary.
Livestock was offloaded from ships straight into the slaughterhouse yards established on the land adjacent to the western end of the sanctuary. There are remnants of a slaughterhouse at the sanctuary’s western end.
The Rifle Range was used for military training during World War II and renamed Merrett Rifle Range in 1954. In 1956 it was the site for the rifle shooting events of the Olympic Games. Remains of the rifle range in the sanctuary include collapsed markers and
navigation poles, ammunition, and remnants of a stone wall.