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Giyakiki | Our story

Djaara and Aboriginal viewers should be aware that this website may contain culturally sensitive material – including images and names of People who have passed away.

Malamiya-yu Gurang
(Long ago, before this time)

Djaara (Dja Dja Wurrung People) have lived on our traditional lands and cared for Djandak (Country) over many thousands of years.

For us, Djandak is more than just a landscape, it is more than what is visible to the eye; it is a living entity which holds the stories of creation and histories that cannot be erased.

Our Martinga kuli (Ancestors) looked after this Country and it is for this reason, we are duty bound to look after it for the future generations.

“For my People, our djandak is our being. It is a landscape in which the tangible is interwoven with our dreaming stories, our Lore and our Martinga kuli murrup (Ancestral spirits). It is the land that gave birth to our Martiinga kuli and nourished and sheltered them. In return they were the guardians of djandak, in the care of the waterways and woodlands, ensuring the health and future of both djandak and Djaara.”

Trent Nelson, Chairperson,
Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation.

Our Martinga kuli (Ancestors)

Djaara are the direct descendants of the First Peoples of Djandak. We are made up of many Clan groups who descend from our 18 Martinga kuli.

When stories from the mission period recount Dja Dja Wurrung People being punished for using Dja Dja Wurrung language and customs, our Martinga kuli remained determined to hold onto Culture.

When the practice and survival of our cultural traditions were gravely threatened, our Martinga kuli persevered.
Whether they lived on Djandak or elsewhere, our Martinga kuli sought to maintain our kinship obligations and relations to remain connected to Djandak. We are reminded of the strength and resilience of our Martinga kuli to continue on when things got hard.

Today, we are duty bound to look after djandak for the future generations that follow and because of our Martinga kuli, Djaara are a stronger People.

Every day we acknowledge our Martinga kuli.

Tommy Avoca

Tommy Avoca / Deardjoo Warramin born Mt Franklin circa 1834. Recorded as “the old Jajowrong Tommy Avoca (Deardjoo Warramin, c. 1834-1894)”. At the Coranderrk inquiry stated that he “came from Mount Franklin”.

Emma Curr*

Born circa 1853 at Kelly’s station, Bendigo Creek or Terrick Terrick, Victoria; died April 1886 at Barham Station, NSW. Married Alick Campbell in 1873 at Coranderrk.

Thomas Dunolly*

Thomas Dunolly born circa 1854 at Dunolly, Victoria, died 1923. Parents were Willie and Betsy. Recorded in a census at Mt Franklinford Station in 1863. Lived in Coranderrk Station circa 1867. Married Jessie Hamilton in 1876 at Coranderrk and later married Jemima Wandin in 1910 at Coranderrk. Recorded as being a member of the Mt Franklin tribe or Monulgundeech tribe in 1863.

King Girribong*, Lerimburneen, Walpanumin

Walpanumin John Jacky Logan (born Charlton 1840) was a Dja Dja Wurrung man of the Yung Balug, father of Herbert Nicholls and Grandfather to Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls.  Walpanumin was the son of Lerimburneen or King Billy (c.1830-1865) who died on the Loddon River near Serpentine of the Dja Dja Wurrung/Baraparapa. Lerimburneen was the son of King Girribong (c.1790-1860) of the Dja Dja Wurrung/Baraparapa and Matty of the Wergaia (c1800-1886).  The Nicholls Family regards the Boort, Charlton, and Donald districts as the heartland of their Dja Dja Wurrung connection to Country. The Barks at Boort and the Jaara Baby at Charlton are events in our history that mark our connection to Country and our collective authority to speak for Country.

Finemore Jackson*

Finemore Jackson, born circa 1868/1869 at Mount Hope, Victoria. Married Gertrude Vincent November 1895 at Moama while resident at Cummeragunja.

Leonard Kerr*

Born circa 1854 at Mount Hope, or Loddon Victoria. Parents recorded as Curr and Peggie on marriage certificate. Married Bella Gorrie at Coranderrk in 1875 and later Margaret Briggs in 1883.

Henry Harmony Nelson*

Mary Jane, and her son Henry Harmony Nelson born 1855 at Majorca/Loddon, died circa 1919 at Tocumwal NSW. Married Margaret Stone (alias McDonald) in 1880 at Coranderrk. Spent some time with his family at Framlingham in 1884 to 1891.

Martin Simpson

Martin Simpson, The Albury Border Post noted in October 1887 that Martin Simpson was “a native of Jim Crow and belonged to the Gejoworrung tribe”. At the Coranderrk inquiry in 1881 stated that he was born at Jim Crow but did not know his age.

William Parker

Descendants of William Parker (at the Coranderrk inquiry in 1881 stated that he was born at Jim Crow)

Charlotte Williams

According to her marriage certificate, Charlotte Williams was born at Franklin, Talbot circa 1851).

John Charles*

Jamie Warbot (‘Pretty Boy‘) and Katie, and their son John Charles born, circa 1852 at Bacchus Marsh, or Avoca, died 1884. Married Eliza Briggs in 1875 at Coranderrk. Spent much of his life at Coranderrk. John Charles is recorded as having been the half-brother of Thomas Dunolly.

Alfred Davis

Alfred Davis told the Coranderrk inquiry in November 1881 that he was born “on the Loddon”.

Tommy Farmer

Descendants of Tommy Farmer / Birn Burman born Loddon, Castlemaine circa 1834. Marriage certificate states that he was “head of the Loddon, Castlemaine district”.

David Harrison*

David Harrison born circa 1800, died at St. Arnaud, Victoria April 27, 1861. Married Mary and his son Captain Harrison born 1839 at Carr’s Plain or 1838 in Donald. Married Sarah Ross/Rosson and later Margaret Green in 1883 at Ebenezer. Died 1908 at Coranderrk.

Samuel Kinnear

Mapooungun – Recorded as “of the Yurra Yurra (Charlton-Avoca) tribe”

Caroline Malcolm*

Gilpoon-Mouning, and her daughter Caroline Malcolm born 1846 at Menzies Station Loddon, died 1889. It may have been recorded in the Mt Franklinford 1863 census that she resided at Bullock Creek. A Coranderrk burial registry lists Caroline’s tribe as being from the Loddon.

‘Through my elders’ stories and teachings, I am always proud to acknowledge the contribution my Ancestors made in caring for this land, its waterways, native animals and all plants species that we all benefit from today’.
– Uncle Graham Atkinson, Malcolm Family Group Director.

Catherine Robinson*

Descendants of Catherine Robinson (possibly known as Kitty) born at Bridge Watter circa 1826, died 1886 at Swan Hill. A Catherine Robinson was recorded in a list of burials at the Coranderrk Cemetery dated 1876-1943.

John Terrick*

The Terrick surname derives, as the surnames of many Aboriginal people during the early colonial period, from his place of birth, “Terrick Terrick near Pyramid Hill”. John was probably born around 1843, a member of the Dja Dja Wurrung language group from the Avoca region.

In September 1881, John Terrick provided evidence into the Inquiry of Coranderrk, as he had resided there about 12 years. He had two children and worked on the station. He was explaining of the conditions they were living including wishing to have moved to another part of the country because he was living in a bark hut that was damp which had made him ill and limited rations and blankets.

Djaara Membership

Are you ready to activate your Djaara rights?
Do you want to become a Dja Dja Wurrung member?

Our current Dja Dja Wurrung members have activated their Native Title rights as a descendent of their Martiinga kuli. They proudly express interest in Dja Dja Wurrung land, waters, and self-determined approaches when caring for djandak.

As our Country’s first People, we have an established place in society and are empowered to manage our own affairs.

We encourage djaara to activate their rights as Traditional Owners of Central Victoria.

Become a Member