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A Bend in the Yarra

A history of the Merri Creek Protectorate Station and Merri Creek Aboriginal School 1841 - 1851

A Bend in the Yarra by Ian Clark
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The Yarra Bend Park marks one of the most important post-contact places in the Melbourne metropolitan area, and is of great significance to Victorian Aboriginal people, particularly the Wurundjeri Aboriginal community. At this site was located the Merri Creek Aboriginal School, the Merri Creek Protectorate Station, the Native Police Corps Headquarters and associated Aboriginal burials.

The historical landscape marks one of the most significant post-contact Aboriginal places in the Melbourne metropolitan area. The confluence continued to hold significance to Aboriginal people after the 1840s, linking pre- and post-contact histories and geographies. The place has added importance in the early twenty first century, as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian address the legacies of our contact past.

Aboriginal Studies Press; November 2004
100 pages; ISBN 9780855755164
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Title: A Bend in the Yarra
Author: Ian Clark; Toby Heydon


Illustrations vii

Abbreviations viii

Metric conversions viii

Acknowledgements ix

1. Introduction 1

Overview 1

2. Study Area 4

Physical geography 4

Land use history prior to 1842 4

Present land use and previous investigations 6

3. Aboriginal Associations 8

Ethnography and land tenure 8

Archaeological background 10

Pre-contact life and culture 10

4. Historical Background 13

Yarra Aboriginal Village Mission 13

Native Police Corps 1837 15

Native Police Corps 1838 15

Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate, 1838–1849 16

Western Port District of the Aboriginal Protectorate 17

5. Merri Creek Protectorate Station 33

Historical sources 34

Site selection for the Merri Creek Protectorate Station 34

Buildings and structural features 36

Administrative responsibility for the land 36

Life at the Merri Creek Protectorate Station 37

Interaction with the Native Police Corps 53

Health and the effects of exotic diseases 54

6. Meni Creek Aboriginal School 59

Origins 59

Edward Peacock, schoolmaster, 1 December 1845–31 May 1848 62

Francis Edgar, schoolmaster, 1 July 1848–31 January l851 69

7. After the Protectorate 74

8. Statement of Significance 75

9. Conclusion 76

Notes 80

Select Bibliography 81

Index 86