150 YEARS LATER – THE CORANDERRK JOURNEY CONTINUES
March 16th 2013 marked the 150th Anniversary of the Founding of Coranderrk Aboriginal Station in Healesville.
This day was commemorated and celebrated with a music festival on the original site of the station. Descendants of Coranderrk residents honoured their ancestors and demonstrated that once again Indigenous people proudly stand at Coranderrk.
The festival was a day of immense pride and joy. Festival-goers experienced the beauty and history of Coranderrk – once almost 5,000 acres – encompassing the current Healesville Sanctuary and much of the town. Not even the cloudburst which prematurely ended the event could dampen the spirit of the festival as a thousand people celebrated the strength and resilience of Victoria’s indigenous people.
Descendants and creators of the festival, Jacqui Wandin and Brooke Collins together with their father Allan Wandin, opened the festival with a warm welcome to everyone – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – and an invitation to share the richness of their heritage in a day of music and dance, art and food, yarns and memories, family and friendships.
Contemporary times met history on that day in 2013. Relatives and friends were united and re-united and many descendants were able to visit an ancestral place, some for the first time. Time travelled in a rather wonderful circle at the festival when the past met up with the present. Allan Wandin, and other descendants were able to speak with John Parkinson Green, grandson of John and Mary Green, staunch supporters of Indigenous people. John was the first supertendant of the station and his wife, Mary, played a very active role in the life of the community.
The music program was a festival highlight. Artists included Yung Warriors, Kutcha Edwards and Band, Skin Choir, Coloured Stone, Sebastian Jorgensen and Sally Grice.
Festival organisers had planned for the music program to continue into the evening. This was not to be however and when torrential rain flooded the stage the festivities were forced to come to an abrupt halt. But the spirit of the day could not be dampened and the festival will always be remembered as a resounding success.