Franklinford, Victoria - History - Loddon Aboriginal Protectorate Station

Loddon Aboriginal Protectorate Station

Mount Franklin was the territory of the Gunangara Gundidj clan of the Dja Dja Wurrung. Ethnographical and archaeological evidence indicates that frequent large ceremonial gatherings took place in the area.

In January 1841 Parker selected a site on the northern side of Mount Franklin on Jim Crow Creek with permanent spring water. The site was chosen with the support of The Dja Dja Wurrung as well as Crown Lands Commissioner Frederick Powlett. Approval for the site was given in March, and a large number of Dja Dja Wurrung accompanied Parker there in June 1841 when the station was established on William Mollison's Coliban run, where an outstation hut already existed. This became known as the Loddon Aboriginal Protectorate Station at Franklinford, and the area was known to the Dja Dja Wurrung as Larne-ne-barramul or the habitat of the emu. Nearby Mount Franklin was known as Lalgambook.

A Homestead, church, school and several out buildings were initially constructed. Franklinford provided a very important focus for the Dja Dja Wurrung during the 1840s where they received a measure of protection and rations, but they continued with their traditional cultural practices and semi-nomadic lifestyle as much as they could. At times over 200 aborigines congregated at Franklinford.

The protectorate ended on 31 December 1848, with about 20 or 30 Dja Dja Wurrung living at the station at that time. Parker and his family remained living at Franklinford. Six Dja Dja Wurrung men and their families settled at Franklinford, but all but one died from misadventure or respiratory disease. Tommy Farmer was the last survivor of this group who walked off the land in 1864 and joined the Coranderrk reserve.

The Aboriginal Protectorate school at Franklinford was closed in February 1864, with the children and families forcibly resettled at Coranderrk Reserve.

On 26 May 2004 Susan Rankin, a Dja Dja Wurrung elder peacefully reoccupied crown land at Franklinford in central Victoria, calling her campsite the Going Home Camp. Rankin asked the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment to produce documents proving that the Crown has the right to occupy these lands. According to the 2 June 2004 Daylesford Advocate, local DSE officers admitted they "cannot produce these documents and doubt that such documents exist".

Read more about this topic:  Franklinford, Victoria, History

Famous quotes containing the words station and/or aboriginal:

    How soon country people forget. When they fall in love with a city it is forever, and it is like forever. As though there never was a time when they didn’t love it. The minute they arrive at the train station or get off the ferry and glimpse the wide streets and the wasteful lamps lighting them, they know they are born for it. There, in a city, they are not so much new as themselves: their stronger, riskier selves.
    Toni Morrison (b. 1931)

    John Eliot came to preach to the Podunks in 1657, translated the Bible into their language, but made little progress in aboriginal soul-saving. The Indians answered his pleas with: ‘No, you have taken away our lands, and now you wish to make us a race of slaves.’
    —Administration for the State of Con, U.S. public relief program. Connecticut: A Guide to Its Roads, Lore, and People (The WPA Guide to Connecticut)