This week we celebrate NAIDOC Week 2020. This year's theme of Always Was, Always Will Be recognises the First Nations people who occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. Angela ten Buuren, a proud Taungurung woman, and great grand daughter of John Franklin from the Yea area, has created this stunning diorama that celebrates the diversity of the flora and fauna in the Yea Wetlands. While COVID-19 restrictions have meant we have not been able to display this in the Centre we hope you enjoy this digital version.
Angela's inspiration for this diorama comes from this year’s NAIDOC theme and her love of curating displays for different occasions.
"The Yea river has always been a part of my family and extended Franklin family’s memoires and visits to Yea. I have a few personal stories I can recall of my family’s experiences on the Yea river from when I was a little girl. To Taungurung people past and present the rivers are our lifeblood.
This diorama attempts to educate and draw attention to the diversity of the flora and fauna in the Yea wetlands. The Macquarie Perch is included in the diorama as it is an endangered species. All the flora and fauna of this region was utilised by our Taungurung ancestors who depended on it all for their survival.
The diorama also incorporates ceremonial aspects of the Taungurung people. The use of different coloured ochres in the display are those which can still be found on Taungurung country. The Taungurung people believe Bundjil, the wedged tail eagle, was the creator of the rivers and mountains. Bundjil is also important within our dreamtime stories.
The emu eggs are included, as John Franklin my great grandfather, in 1902 gave two emu eggs as a wedding gift to Aitken and Underwood. In our ceremonial dancing today, like our ancestors, we continue to use emu feathers for the making of the women’s feather skirts and other adornments.
The footprints represent our old people walking over their country, from the river flats to the tops of the mountains. I can still feel their presence whilst I am on country".
We thank Angela for sharing this beautiful work with us, and for her ongoing commitment to caring for the Yea Wetlands.
Click here to view.