A Bend in the Yarra: A History of the Merri Creek (Report: by Ian Clark, Toby Heydon

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By Ian Clark, Toby Heydon

The Yarra Bend Park marks the most vital post-contact areas within the Melbourne metropolitan zone, and is of significant importance to Victorian Aboriginal humans, relatively the Wurundjeri Aboriginal group. At this web site was once positioned the Merri Creek Aboriginal college, the Merri Creek Protectorate Station, the local Police Corps Headquarters and linked Aboriginal burials.The position has additional value within the early 21st century, as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian handle the legacies of our touch past.

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Extra info for A Bend in the Yarra: A History of the Merri Creek (Report: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies)

Sample text

The kitchen and servant’s room were detached, and a little further off was a stable. (Curr 1883: 11) Power’s building was occupied until at least December 1845 (see Thomas to Robinson in VPRS 11, Unit 10, Item 621) but was in ruins by March 1847 (Thomas to Robinson 12/3/1847 in VPRS 11, Unit 10, Item 658). Information about the style of barracks built for the Native Police Corps comes from Robinson (Jnl 28/6/1843). He wrote: ‘A slab hut without chimney was the barrack of native police’. The location of the barrack buildings is unknown, except that it was near to Thomas’s Assistant Protector’s Quarters.

The nature of the government reserve encampments differed significantly from those at the Protectorate Stations, because of the reserve’s proximity to Melbourne. At the reserve, rapid cultural and economic transition took place. The reserve also served as a depot for Aboriginal people leaving jail. Life at the Merri Creek Protectorate Station was a life between worlds. The order and routine that characterised life at Narre Narre Warren was noticeably absent at Merri Creek. The population fluctuated markedly, serving both as a home to the Wurundjeri-willam — both Bebejan’s and Billibellary’s people — and place of stay for those from distant territories visiting Melbourne.

These creeks include the Merri Creek, but it would appear, judging from Robinson’s account, that the Plenty River and Darebin Creek were more important. It was when moving along these watercourses that Aboriginal groups most often came into contact with European settlers. 33 Historical sources Most references to a ‘station’ at the confluence of Merri Creek and the Yarra River occur well after the last days of the Protectorate. The term ‘station’ was used to describe a collection of related government and church establishments operating from the ‘Government reserve’ situated between Heidelberg Road, the Yarra River and Merri Creek.

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