Midnight Oil are an Australian rock band composed of Peter Garrett, Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey and Bones Hillman. The group was formed in Sydney in 1972 by Hirst and original bassist Andrew James as Farm: they enlisted Garrett the following year, changed their name in 1976, hired Rotsey a year later. Peter Gifford served as bass player from 1980–1987. Midnight Oil issued their self-titled debut album in 1978, gained a cult following in their homeland despite a lack of mainstream media acceptance; the band achieved greater popularity throughout in Australasia with the release of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – which spawned the singles "Power and the Passion" and "US Forces" – and began to attract an audience in the United States. They achieved their first Australian number one album in 1984 with Red Sails in the Sunset, topped their native country's singles chart for six weeks with the EP Species Deceases; the group garnered worldwide attention with Dust. Its singles "The Dead Heart" and "Beds Are Burning" illuminated the plight of indigenous Australians, with the latter charting at number one in multiple countries.
Midnight Oil had continued global success with Blue Sky Mining and Earth and Sun and Moon – each buoyed by an international hit single in "Blue Sky Mine" and "Truganini" – and remained a formidable album chart presence in Australia until their 2002 disbandment. The group held concerts sporadically during the remainder of the 2000s, announced a full-scale reformation in 2016; the band's music broaches political subjects, they have lent their support to multiple left-wing causes. They have won eleven Australian Recording Industry Association Awards, were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006. Midnight Oil's legacy has grown since the late 1970s, with the outfit being cited as an influence, their songs covered, by numerous popular artists. Aside from their studio output, the group are celebrated for their energetic live performances, which showcase the frenetic dancing of Garrett. Guardian writer Andrew Street described Midnight Oil as "one of Australia's most beloved bands". While studying at Australian National University in Canberra, vocalist Peter Garrett answered an advertisement for a spot in Farm, by 1975 the band had started touring the east coast of Australia.
By late 1976 Garrett had moved to Sydney to complete his law degree, Farm changed its name to Midnight Oil by drawing the name out of a hat. Important to their development was manager Gary Morris, who negotiated favourable contracts with tour promoters and record companies and frustrated rock journalists. Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977 and Midnight Oil, with Morris, established their own record label, which released their debut eponymous album in November 1978, their first single "Run by Night" followed in December. Founding bass-guitarist James, forced to leave due to illness in 1980, was replaced by Peter Gifford. Gifford was himself replaced by Bones Hillman in 1987. Through a long and distinguished career, the band became known for its driving hard-rock sound, intense live performances and political activism in aid of anti-nuclear and indigenous causes; the following Midnight Oil albums peaked in the Australian Top Ten: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Red Sails in the Sunset Species Deceases Diesel and Dust Blue Sky Mining Scream in Blue Earth and Sun and Moon Breathe 20,000 Watt R.
S. L. Redneck Wonderland The Real Thing Capricornia Flat ChatAustralian Top Ten singles were: "Power and the Passion" "The Dead Heart" "Beds Are Burning" "Blue Sky Mine"Aside from chart success, the Australasian Performing Right Association in 2001 listed both "Power and the Passion" and "Beds Are Burning" in the Top 30 best Australian songs of all time, a chart in which Midnight Oil are the only artists to feature twice. In December 2002 Garrett announced that he would seek to further his political career and Midnight Oil disbanded, but they would reform for two warm-up shows in Canberra leading up to their performance at one of the "Sound Relief" charity concerts, in honour of the victims of the 2009 "Black Saturday" fires in Victoria and floods in Queensland. In 2010 their album Diesel and Dust ranked no. 1 in the book The 100 Best Australian Albums by Toby Creswell, Craig Mathieson and John O'Donnell. In 1971, drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James, keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie were performing together.
They adopted the name "Farm" in 1972, played covers of Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Led Zeppelin songs. They placed an advert for a band member and Peter Garrett became their new vocalist and synthesizer player, began introducing progressive rock elements of Focus, Jethro Tull and Yes, as well as their own material. Garrett was studying at Australian National University in Canberra, so Farm was only a part-time band, they played for the northern Sydney surfing community, by 1975 the band was touring the east coast. In late 1976, Garrett moved to Sydney to complete his Law degree. Farm became a full-time group and changed its name to "Midnight Oil" by drawing a name out of a hat, leaving behind "Television," "Sparta," and "Southern Cross." Midnight Oil came from the Jimi Hendrix song, "Burning of the Midnight Lamp." After changing its name to Midnight Oil, the group began to develop an aggressive, punk-hard rock sound for their pub rock audiences. Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977 and Midnight Oil, with their manager Gary Morris, established their own record label Powderworks.
In June 1978 they entered the Alberts Studio in Sydney wit
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2, comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, is the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley, it has a population of 4.9 million, its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians". The city was founded on 30 August 1835, in the then-British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837 and named in honour of the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. In 1851, four years after Queen Victoria declared it a city, Melbourne became the capital of the new colony of Victoria. In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world's largest and wealthiest metropolises.
After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as interim seat of government of the new nation until Canberra became the permanent capital in 1927. Today, it is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 15th in the Global Financial Centres Index; the city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries and Australian contemporary dance. More it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global centre for street art, live music and theatre, it is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, has hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Due to it rating in entertainment and sport, as well as education, health care and development, the EIU ranks it the second most liveable city in the world.
The main airport serving the city is Melbourne Airport, the second busiest in Australia, Australia's busiest seaport the Port of Melbourne. Its main metropolitan rail terminus is Flinders Street station and its main regional rail and road coach terminus is Southern Cross station, it has the most extensive freeway network in Australia and the largest urban tram network in the world. Indigenous Australians have lived in the Melbourne area for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years; when European settlers arrived in the 19th-century, under 2,000 hunter-gatherers from three regional tribes—the Wurundjeri and Wathaurong—inhabited the area. It was an important meeting place for the clans of the Kulin nation alliance and a vital source of food and water; the first British settlement in Victoria part of the penal colony of New South Wales, was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento. The following year, due to a perceived lack of resources, these settlers relocated to Van Diemen's Land and founded the city of Hobart.
It would be 30 years. In May and June 1835, John Batman, a leading member of the Port Phillip Association in Van Diemen's Land, explored the Melbourne area, claimed to have negotiated a purchase of 600,000 acres with eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village" before returning to Van Diemen's Land. In August 1835, another group of Vandemonian settlers arrived in the area and established a settlement at the site of the current Melbourne Immigration Museum. Batman and his group arrived the following month and the two groups agreed to share the settlement known by the native name of Dootigala. Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines was annulled by Richard Bourke, the Governor of New South Wales, with compensation paid to members of the association. In 1836, Bourke declared the city the administrative capital of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, commissioned the first plan for its urban layout, the Hoddle Grid, in 1837.
Known as Batmania, the settlement was named Melbourne in 1837 after the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, whose seat was Melbourne Hall in the market town of Melbourne, Derbyshire. That year, the settlement's general post office opened with that name. Between 1836 and 1842, Victorian Aboriginal groups were dispossessed of their land by European settlers. By January 1844, there were said to be 675 Aborigines resident in squalid camps in Melbourne; the British Colonial Office appointed five Aboriginal Protectors for the Aborigines of Victoria, in 1839, however their work was nullified by a land policy that favoured squatters who took possession of Aboriginal lands. By 1845, fewer than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licences issued in Victoria and became a powerful political and economic force in Victoria for generations to come. Letters patent of Queen Victoria, issued on 25 June 1847, declared Melbourne a city. On 1 July 1851, the Port Phillip District separated from New South Wales to become the Colony of Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital.
The discovery of gold in Victoria in mid-1851 sparked a
George Augustus Robinson
George Augustus Robinson was a British builder and untrained preacher. He was the Chief Protector of Aborigines in Port Phillip District, from 1839 to 1849. Prior to this appointment by the Colonial Office in Great Britain, he had been called upon to mount a "friendly mission" to find the 300 remaining Aboriginals in Tasmania. Robinson was born on 22 March 1791 in London, England, to William Robinson, a builder, Susannah née Perry, he followed his father into the building trade, married Maria Amelia Evans on 28 February 1814, had five children over the next ten years. He decided to emigrate to the Australian colonies, sailed for Hobart Town in Van Diemen's Land on the Triton, where he arrived in January 1824 and set up as a builder, his wife and five children joined him in April 1826. Conflicts between settlers and Tasmanian Aborigines had vastly increased during the 1830s, which became known as the Black War. In 1830 Robinson investigated the Cape Grim massacre that had occurred in 1828 and reported that 30 Aborigines had been massacred.
Robinson was to be brought in as a conciliator between Aborigines. His mission was to round up the Aborigines to resettle them at the camp of Wybalenna on Flinders Island. Robinson befriended Truganini, to whom he promised food and security on Flinders Island until the situation on the mainland had calmed down. With Truganini, Robinson succeeded in forging an agreement with the Big River and Oyster Bay peoples, by the end of 1835, nearly all the Aboriginals had been relocated to the new settlement. Robinson's involvement with the Tasmanian Aboriginals ended soon after this and the Wybalenna settlement became more akin to a prison as the camp conditions deteriorated and many of the residents died of ill health and homesickness; because of this, Robinson's place in history is viewed as negative within the current Aboriginal community. Some historians agree that his initial intentions were genuine, but his abandonment of the community is viewed as a turning point for the worse for the Tasmanian Aboriginals.
Moreover, his promises of providing a place where Aborigines could practice their cultural traditions and ceremonies never came to fruition. Robinson became Chief Protector of Aborigines in March 1839, managing the Protectorate of Port Phillip with the help of four Assistant Protectors, William Thomas, James Dredge, Edward Stone Parker and Charles Sievwright. Maria, Robinson's wife died in 1848. Robinson was paid a total of £8000 in his role as protector of Aborigines, he built a small community that included a church and coined the area'Point Civilisation'. Many of the Aborigines who lived at the port had been removed under false pretenses from their true home in Tasmania. In 1841 and 1842 Robinson traveled to western Victoria with Tunnerminnerwait where he investigated and reported on the Convincing Ground massacre that had occurred in 1833 or 1834; the Protectorate was abolished on 31 December 1849 and in 1852 he returned to England. His journals are regarded as amongst the most important of early documents of the early years of Victoria, being significant for its observations on Koorie culture, early Melbourne personalities and settler society.
He was known as a'Victorian do-gooder'. In 1853 Robinson married Rose Pyne, they spent the next few years living in Europe before returning to England in 1858. Robinson died on 18 October 1866 in Bath. Semi-fictional accounts of Robinson's travels are included in Matthew Kneale's book English Passengers and in T. C. Boyle's short story "The Extinction Tales". There is a reference to Robinson in the book "The Lost Diamonds of Killiecrankie" by Gary Crew and Peter Gouldthorpe, in Following the Equator, by Mark Twain. Robert Drewes"Savage Crows' incorporates the work of Robinson into the plot. See Mudrooroo's critical portrayal of Robinson in Doctor Wooreddy's Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World, Master of the Ghost Dreaming and his Vampire Trilogy: The Undying and The Promised Land. Serle, Percival. "Robinson, George Augustus". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 2008-10-13. Vivienne Rae-Ellis, Black Robinson Protector of Aborigines, Melbourne University Press, 1988 ISBN 0-522-84744-7 Lyndall Ryan, Tasmanian Aborigines: a history since 1803, Allen & Unwin, 2012 ISBN 978-1-74237-068-2 George Augustus Robinson - State Library of NSW George Augustus Robinson - State Records of NSW the journals and papers of George Augustus Robinson - NSW State Library Protector of Aborigines Heritage Collection Black Robinson: Protector of Aborigines.
A controversial study of by Vivienne Rae-Ellis Melbourne University Press
Kangaroo Island is Australia's third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island. It lies in the state of South Australia 112 km southwest of Adelaide, its closest point to the mainland is Snapper Point in Backstairs Passage, 13.5 km from the Fleurieu Peninsula. Once occupied by Aboriginal Australians, the native population disappeared from the archaeological record when the land became an island following rising sea levels several thousand years ago, it was subsequently settled intermittently by sealers and whalers in the early 19th century, from 1836 on a permanent basis during the establishment of the colony of South Australia. Since the island's economy has been principally agricultural, with a southern rock lobster fishery and with tourism growing in importance; the largest town, the administrative centre, is Kingscote. The island has several nature reserves to protect the remnants of its natural vegetation and native animals, with the largest and best-known being Flinders Chase National Park at the western end.
The island is 145 kilometres long West/East and between 0.94 and 54 km from its narrowest to widest North/South points. Its area covers 4,405 km2, its coastline is 540 km long and highest point is Mount MacDonnell at 299 m above sea level. It is separated from Yorke Peninsula to the northwest by Investigator Strait and from Fleurieu Peninsula to the northeast by Backstairs Passage. A group of islets, the Pages, lie off the eastern end of the island. Kangaroo Island separated from mainland Australia around 10,000 years ago, due to rising sea level after the last glacial period. Known as Karta by the mainland Aboriginal tribes, the existence of stone tools and shell middens show that Aboriginal people once lived on Kangaroo Island, it is thought that they occupied it as long ago as 16,000 years before the present, may have only disappeared from the island as as 2000 years ago. A mainland Aboriginal dreaming story tells of the Backstairs Passage flooding: "Long ago, Ngurunderi's two wives ran away from him, he was forced to follow them.
He as he did so he crossed Lake Albert and went along the beach to Cape Jervis. When he arrived there he saw his wives wading half-way across the shallow channel which divided Naroongowie from the mainland, he was determined to punish his wives, angrily ordered the water to rise up and drown them. With a terrific rush the waters roared and the women were carried back towards the mainland. Although they tried frantically to swim against the tidal wave they were powerless to do so and were drowned." On 23 March 1802, British explorer Matthew Flinders, commanding HMS Investigator, named the land "Kanguroo Island", due to the endemic subspecies of the western grey kangaroo, Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus, after landing near Kangaroo Head on the north coast of the Dudley Peninsula. He was followed by the French explorer Commander Nicolas Baudin, the first European to circumnavigate the Island and who mapped much of the island. Although the French and the British were at war at the time, the men met peacefully.
They both used the fresh water seeping at what is now known as Hog Bay near Frenchman's Rock and the site of present-day Penneshaw. Baudin named the Island Île Borda, in honour of Jean-Charles de Borda, although the French chart published by Louis de Freycinet after Baudin's death referred to the Island as Île Decres. A community of sealers and others existed on Kangaroo Island from 1802 to the time of South Australia's colonisation in 1836. A sealing gang led by Joseph Murrrell are reported landing at Harvey's Return in 1806–07 and they established a camp on the beach; the sealers were rough men and several kidnapped Aboriginal women from Tasmania and mainland South Australia. The women were kept prisoner as virtual slaves. At least two contemporary accounts report of reputed crossings of Backstairs Passage from Kangaroo Island to the mainland by kidnapped women seeking to escape from their captors.'A fine specimen of her race' was pointed out to J. W. Bull as having swum the passage in 1835, a woman and her baby were found dead on the beach after a presumed crossing in 1871.
In 1803 sealers from the American brig Union built the schooner Independence, the first ship constructed in South Australia, at what is now American River. In 1812 Richard Siddins reached Kangaroo Island with the ship Campbell Macquarie, engaged in salt harvesting on the island. Most ships of the "First Fleet of South Australia" that brought settlers for the new colony first stopped at Nepean Bay; the first was the Duke of York commanded by Captain Robert Clark Morgan on 27 or 28 July 1836. The arrival of the Africaine, under John Finlay Duff, in November that year, was notable for the deaths of E. W. Osborne and Dr. John Slater, who perished on an exploratory trek from Cape Borda to Kingscote. A number of shore-based bay whaling stations operated on the coast in the 1840s; these were located at D'Estrees Bay and Hog Bay. Numerous ships have been wrecked on the Kangaroo Island coastline, the largest being Portland Maru of 5,865 tons, which sank at Cape Torrens on 20 March 1935; the greatest loss of life occurred with the wreck of Loch Sloy on 24 April 1899 at Maupertuis Bay, when 31 people were drowned, one initial survivor subsequently perished.
Twenty-seven people drowned at West Bay in September 1905. The first lighthouse built was erected at Cape Willoughby in 1852.
The Wurundjeri are indigenous descendants of the people of the Indigenous Australian nation of the Wurundjeri language group, in the Kulin alliance. They occupied the Birrarung Valley, its tributaries are the present location of Melbourne. Before European settlement, they lived predominantly as aquaculturists, swidden agriculturists, hunters and gatherers. Seasonal changes in the weather, availability of foods and other factors would determine where campsites were located, many near the Birrarung and its tributaries. Wurundjeri people spoke the Woiwurrung language. Wurundjeri refers to the people who occupy one tribal territory, while Woiwurrung refers to the language group shared by the other tribal territory groups and clans within the Woiwurrung territory. Wurundjeri people take their name from the word wurun meaning Manna Gum, common along Birrarung, djeri, a grub found in the tree, thus the Wurundjeri are the "Witchetty Grub People"; the term Wurundjeri is used to describe the Woiwurrung people as a whole though it was only one of a number of Woiwurrung tribes.
The Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council was established in 1985 by some descendants of the Wurundjeri people. The Wurundjeri & Gunung Willam Balug Tribes mined diorite at Mount William stone axe quarry, a source of the valued greenstone hatchet heads, which were traded across a wide area as far as New South Wales and Adelaide; the mine provided a complex network of trading for economic and social exchange among the different Aboriginal nations in Victoria. The quarry had been in use for more than 1,500 years and covered 18 hectares including underground pits of several metres. In February 2008 the site was placed on the Australian National Heritage List for its cultural importance and archeological value. In 1863 the surviving members of the Wurundjeri tribe were given "permissive occupancy" of Coranderrk Station, near Healesville and forcibly resettled. Despite numerous petitions and delegations to the Colonial and Federal Government, the grant of this land in compensation for the country lost was refused.
Coranderrk was closed in 1924 and its occupants bar five refusing to leave Country were again moved to Lake Tyers in Gippsland. All remaining Wurundjeri people are descendants of Bebejan, through his daughter Annie Borate, in turn, her son Robert Wandin. Bebejan was a Ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri people and was present at John Batman's "treaty" signing in 1835. Joy Murphy Wandin, a Wurundjeri Elder, explains the importance of preserving Wurundjeri culture: In the recent past, Wurundjeri culture was undermined by people being forbidden to "talk culture" and language. Another loss was the loss of children taken from families. Now, some knowledge of the past must be collected from documents. By finding and doing this, Wurundjeri will bring their past to the present and recreate a place of belonging. A "keeping place" should be to keep things for future generations of our people, not a showcase for all, not a resource to earn dollars. I work towards maintaining the Wurundjeri culture for Wurundjeri people into the future.
In 1985, the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council was established to fulfill statutory roles under Commonwealth and Victorian legislation and to assist in raising awareness of Wurundjeri culture and history within the wider community. Wurundjeri elders attend events with visitors present where they give the traditional welcome to country greeting in the Woiwurrung language: Wominjeka yearmenn koondee-bik Wurundjeri-Ballak, which means, Welcome to the land of the Wurundjeri people Notable Wurundjeri people at the time of British settlement included: Bebejan: ngurungaeta and father of William Barak and brother of Billibellary Billibellary: ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri-willam clan Simon Wonga: ngurungaeta and son of Billibellary William Barak: last traditional ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri-willam clan Tullamareena: present during the founding of Melbourne Derrimut: a Bunurong elder associated with the WoiwurrungOther notable Wurundjeri people include: Diane Kerr: elder Joy Murphy Wandin: senior elder James Wandin: ngurungaeta and Australian rules footballer Murrundindi: ngurungaeta from 2006 Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council Batman's Treaty Indigenous Australians Australian Aboriginal enumeration Battle of Yering Possum-skin cloak Bunurong Gunai people
William Barak, was the last traditional ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri-willam clan, first inhabitants of present-day Melbourne, Australia. He became an influential spokesman for Aboriginal social justice and an important informant on Wurundjeri cultural lore. Barak was born in the early 1820s at Brushy Creek near present-day Croydon, in the country of the Wurundjeri people, his mother, came from the Nourailum bulluk at Murchison, Victoria. His father, was an important member of the Wurundjeri clan. Barak was said to have been present as a boy when John Batman met with the tribal elders to'purchase' the Melbourne area in 1835. Before he died he described witnessing the signing of the treaty in a ceremony he called a tanderem. Ninggalobin and Billibellary were the leading song makers and principal Wurundjeri leaders in the Melbourne region. European colonisation had caused disruptions to initiation ceremonies. In response these three men gathered at South Yarra in the late 1830s and inducted the young William Barak into Aboriginal lore.
This entailed formally presenting Barak with the symbols of manhood: strips of possum skin tied around his biceps. At the end of the ceremony Barak presented his uncle, Billibellary, a possumskin cloak. Barak attended the government’s Yarra Mission School from 1837 to 1839; when he joined the Native Mounted Police in 1844, he was given the name of William Barak. He was Police Trooper No.19. In early 1863, Barak moved to Coranderrk Station, near Healesville, Victoria with about thirty others. Upon the death of Simon Wonga in 1875, Barak became the Ngurungaeta of the clan, he was a successful negotiator on their behalf. He was a respected man and leader, with standing amongst the Indigenous people and the European settlers. Barak is buried at the Coranderrk cemetery, he was about 85 years old. Barak is now best remembered for his artworks, which show both traditional Indigenous life and encounters with Europeans. Most of Barak's drawings were completed at Coranderrk during the 1890s, they are now prized and exhibited in leading public galleries in Australia.
His work is on permanent display in the National Gallery of Victoria Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square, Melbourne. Ceremony is housed at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. In 2005 a 525-metre footbridge called the'William Barak bridge' was constructed stretching from Birrarung Marr to the MCG, improving the link between some of Melbourne's biggest sports and entertainment venues and the heart of the CBD. In 2006 a permanent sound installation called, it was designed by Sonia Leber. Its central section features a welcome song sung in Woiwurrung by Wurundjeri Elder, Barak's descendant, Joy Murphy Wandin. In 2015 a 279-foot-tall image of William Barak was used to form the facade of an apartment building called Swanston Square in Melbourne, Australia; the portrait is formed by the white balconies against a black wall. Remembering Barak at the National Gallery of Victoria. Joy Murphy-Wandin speaking about her great, great uncle. Ceremony – Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Joy Murphy-Wandin speaking about Barak and Coranderrk.
William Barak, story on Culture Victoria William Barak News at the Aboriginal Art Directory
Simon Wonga and son of Billibellary, was an elder of the Wurundjeri indigenous people who lived in the Melbourne area of Australia. He was resolute. In 1835, he was present when his father and other Wurundjeri elders met with John Batman and witnessed the signing of the contentious'treaty' which heralded the establishment of a permanent British colony in Victoria. William Barak was his cousin. In 1840 Simon Wonga injured his foot in the Dandenongs. Billibellary searched for him, when found carried him to a homestead where he was transported back to Melbourne by dray to be cared for and have his wound dressed for a period of two months by Assistant Protector William Thomas and wife Susannah, his father died in 1846 and by 1851 he was recgonised leader ngurungaeta or headman of the Wurundjeri and Kulin Nation people. By 1848 he had joined the Native Police Corp and led armed and mounted units conducting license hunts with Captain Dana during the early years of Victoria's gold rush. After the Corps were disbanded in 1853, he worked with Colonel Joseph Anderson, Joseph Panton, Alfred Selwyn, Robert Brough Smyth and as an occasional guide for landscape painters Eugene Von Guerard, Nicholas Chevalier and with Louis Buvelot.
He was a regular guest of Lilly and Paul de Castella at Yering Station while his family took refuge upstream on the Yarra River around Woori Yallock-Launching Place. A reserve was gazetted for that site until a gold rush to Hoddles Creek in 1858. In February 1859 some Wurundjeri elders, led by Simon Wonga and brother Tommy Munnering petitioned Protector William Thomas to secure land for the Taungurong at the junction of the Acheron and Goulburn rivers. "I bring my friends Goulburn Blacks, they want a block of land in their country where they may sit down plant corn potatoes etc etc, work like white man." He told ThomasInitial representations to the Victorian Government were positive, however the intervention of the most powerful squatter in Victoria, Hugh Glass, resulted in their removal to a colder site, Mohican Station, not suitable for agricultural land and had to be abandoned. In March 1863 the Kulin suggested a traditional camping site located at Coranderrk, near Healesville and requested ownership of this land.
This meeting occurred at the State Exhibition buildings during celebrations for the marriage of the Prince of Wales and was sketched by Nicholas Chevalier and published in national newspapers. Access to the land was provided, though not granted as freehold, he was a successful entrepreneur, described by Fred Cahir in'Black Gold' as providing building materials and meats. He was married three times, none of his children survived. Cause of Wonga's death is accepted as tuberculosis; the Melbourne suburb of Wonga Park and Wonga Road are named after him. He provided the name Donna Buang to Joseph Panton for a mountain in the upper Yarra and Wonga Road in Millgrove was named in his honor