Ramahyuck Aboriginal Mission was established by the Presbyterian Mission Committee, on the banks of the Avon River, near Lake Wellington in Gippsland in 1863. The Moravian missionary, Friedrich August Hagenauer oversaw the settlement. It accommodated people from the Gunai nation of Gippsland. It closed in 1908.

The Blue Pool is also very significant to Braiakaulung women as a sacred birthing pool. Tragically, members of the tribe were removed in about 1864 to Ramahyuck Mission Station

Given the current Black Lives Matter movement I should not have been surprised when a Messenger came revealing a darker side of the Blue Pool history. I grew up in Gippsland but our history lessons never included information like what can now be found now on sites such as the Bataluk Cultural Trail.

As a small child visiting this magical landscape I was oblivious to the tragic history of women like these. Of course, it was nearly 100 years later when Archie and Edna were living there and I doubt that they were familiar with the history either.

However, now that I know about the forced removal of vulnerable women from this area I cannot stay here, even in my imagination. It feels like a stake has been hammered into my heart.

The reality of how white Europeans treated the Indigenous population, continues to treat these people, is a stain on this country. It matters to me that at Ramahyuck the Gunaikurnai were forced to give up their freedom and culture for (as the Europeans saw it) protection, food and Christianity.  It appalls me that Hagenauer, the so called protector, did not allow any tribal customs or ceremonies. Black culture matters.

The Ten of Knives can be the provocation for us to realise our true place in the world and cause us to reflect on our childhood or past experiences. p. 255 Phantasmagoria

 

 

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