This walking stick was made by a senior Koorie man at Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve in the early 1900s whose name was not recorded. Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve was established in 1863 and situated around 60km north-east of Melbourne near the town of Healesville. Woi Wurrung leaders Simon Wonga, William Barak and other First Peoples of the Kulin Nation along with Scottish lay-preacher John Green, chose Coranderrk as a place where they agreed to live and the community could call home.

Although an oppressive time for the First Peoples residents, the community living on the reserve fought for their rights and equality whilst continuing their culture. Within twelve years of establishing the reserve there were close to two hundred men women and children and for many years thrived with farming hops and wheat and makers creating baskets and other cultural material like this walking stick to sell to visitors to the reserve.
As Coranderrk grew so did the interest of the colonial powers who had invaded Kulin country and by the 1870s the 'Aboriginal Protection Board' decided to take back Coranderrk Reserve for farming and began displacing people off their home. By1890s most of the residents of Coranderrk had been moved off and the land sectioned for settlers and by the early 1900s Coranderrk closed.

This walking stick is symbolic of the journey the people of Coranderrk Reserve made both in establishing a place for their communities in the time of colonisation of their homelands but representative of the ongoing connection and living cultures that the descendants of the people from Coranderrk continue today.

Physical Description

Wood. Incised criss-cross design. Knob in form of human face.


Made by a Senior Koorie man at Coranderrk Mission, Healesville, Melbourne around 1900 for the manager of Coranderrk at the time Joseph Shaw. It is a skilfully crafted walking stick featuring a small head of a man.

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