Ryn Shell postcard fine art & story - Mooroopna Australia - Aussie town on the Goulburn River.
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Aboriginal History Walk
You begin the 4.3 km walk at Chinaman’s Garden Reserve. A well made and signposted History Walk teaches you the story of the Yorta Yorta Aboriginal community whose land you walk on. It shares the story of Cummeragunja ‘Walk Off’ that took place on 6 February 1939 and how the Yorta Yorta people returned to their river valley homelands, including this site, in Mooroopna, Victoria, Australia.
This is the Yorta Yorta people's long-standing traditional home. The Kaiela (Goulburn River) is their long association, home base.
By September 1946 there were 130 people aged from 8 days to 80 years living on the ‘riverside flats in 29 homes, mainly handy person constructed huts of tin or hessian bags and a few were tents.
The Yorta Yorta people were skilled hunter-gathers, surviving on crayfish, redfin, yellow belly and cod, from the Goulburn River and possums, turtles, turtle eggs, swan, duck, crane and other birds and their eggs.
It was usually the women who fished, and the men who hunted on the land.
When the river flooded, the families moved to Daish’s paddock, which was on higher ground, at the site now used by the KidsTown Adventure Playground.
The story of the Cummeragunja ‘Walk Off’ is told on a sign at the flats.
The Cummeragunja Walk-off at Barmah in1939 was the first ever mass strike of Aboriginal people. It was caused by long-standing neglect and increasingly restrictive controls on the movement and activities of the people, and the heartless removal of children from families. (stolen generations.)
Jack Patten, with the help of William Cooper, encouraged the people of the mission to leave. Some residents walking south to The Flats, while others settled closer, in the Echuca/Moama district.
Jack Patten and William Cooper
Both Jack Patten and William Cooper continued as spokesmen for the dispersed Aboriginal communities of Central Victoria and Western New South Wales. The action of these people helped bring about changes to the Aborigines Act of New South Wales.
Jack Patten was sent to jail for encouraging the Aborigines to leave the Cummeragunja Reserve.
Mooroopna, Victoria, Australia, a rural Aussie example of community friendship.
Mooroopna, with the aid of the example of the Yorta Yorta people and the multi-cultural community that established and maintained this area as the fruit bowl of Victoria, have influenced Mooroopna becoming a safe place for resettlement of refugees from Sudan. The Muslim community of the wider Shepparton, as well as Mooroopna district, have been a huge asset to the area. The local Mosque is as accepted as the Churches and Synagogue within our district. I am proud of and feel incredibly safe within our humanitarian Aussie country town.
I am painting the Goulburn River using soft pastels in a time-lapse demonstration during this video art story. My art students have access to the longer, real-time painting demonstration videos and my art tutorials.
I live in the Goulburn Valley a walking distance from the area once populated and know as the flats. I love the are and the history of the families who lived there. Some people saw slums, I see proud independent families living close to nature. They were and are, wherever they and the following generation have gone to, good people. I dip my hat in respect to them.
I would love the hear the oral stories from the families of those who lived in The Flats.
Shepparton’s urbanisation was sufficiently extensive to attract the attention of the Slum Reclamation Board in 1936. It identified housing shortages.
The impact of World War II delayed a house building program, but in 1944 the Shepparton borough council commissioned a master plan for its future growth. The plan provided for a quadrupling of Shepparton’s population and of the municipality’s area, extensive surrounding parkland and visionary development of the urban areas.
Postwar soldier settlement occurred beyond Shepparton and the manufacturing and food processing infrastructure in the town was further developed, adding to population growth.
There were Housing Commission estates in 1946-55, in which over 1000 houses were built. In 1946 Shepparton was described in the Australian blue book:
For over 100 years immigrants from southern Europe have settled in the Shepparton area, and immigration to Shepparton was strong during the postwar years. In 1981 11.5% of Shepparton’s residents were born overseas, of whom nearly one third were born in Italy.
A Muslim mosque was opened in 1960.
The Aboriginal community established the Rumbalara village in 1958.
About the author and artist RYN SHELL.
Ryn Shell, formerly of the Internationally acclaimed Buninyong Gallery captures the splendour of nature in art.
Ryn Shell is the winner of numerous prestigious professional awards from portraiture, landscape and still life-floral studies in the mediums of oils, watercolour, pastels, ink markers, drawing, plus pottery, sculpture, and literature.
Ryn Shell has taken fine art on tours around Australia, the US and in featured articles in the Australia Artist Magazine, and on Channel 9/WIN Television Network. She has represented Australia at the International Artists’ Festival.