Coranderrk (1863 - 1923)

Founded Victoria's Yarra Valley in 1863, Coranderrk Aboriginal Station was established as a last refuge for dislocated indigenous people who had been driven from their land in the 30 years since white settlement.

In the 1870s, when officials threatened to close Coranderrk and sell off its rich grazing land, Wurundjeri elder William Barak led the first Coranderrk Rebellion, marching with residents into Melbourne to claim ownership of land he called "my father's country". For Barak, Coranderrk was both a home and a last link to his vanishing culture and heritage.

This early Aboriginal land rights movement was a success. Barak is now widely revered as "The Last King of the Yarra Tribes". The Coranderrk people had not only gained a permanent homeland, but the respect and patronage of Melbourne identities like future Prime Minister Alfred Deakin and opera singer Nellie Melba.

Listen to an ABC podcast detailing the rise and fall of Coranderrk (54' 19").....