The Walk to Coranderrk has found its place in the local community fabric. Descendants and friends from Melbourne and beyond walk together to commemorate the 1863 trek made by Wurundjeri elders William Barak, Simon Wonga and others as they searched for, and finally found, a permanent home for their people.
Coranderrk descendants invite friends and family to join in as they travel back to an ancestral home. The walk also represents the journey into the future as Coranderrk is to be restored as a living place of belonging where everyone will be welcome: indigenous and non-indigenous. The rejuvenation of Coranderrk is taking place and everyone is welcomed to share the celebration of strength and survival as we walk and work together.
On the banks of the Watts River, Jacqui and Brooke welcomed everyone and spoke about hopes and plans for Coranderrk. Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Bill Nicholson expanded the welcome and spoke about many aspects of Wurundjeri culture and the current position of Indigenous cultures in contemporary politics. Uncle Bill talked about the meaning of Welcome to Country ceremonies and explained that, implicit in the welcome, was the expectation that visitors would respect the country of their hosts.
Mandy Nicholson and the Djirri Djirri Dance Group performed traditional women’s dances after Uncle Bill’s talk..
As the walk wound its way from Barak Lane and along the road towards the homestead, Allan Wandin asked us to pause in the shade of an oak tree planted in the days of the Coranderrk Station. He welcomed us as friends to his home – his Father’s Country – and invited us all to relax and enjoy the refreshments provided.