GALLERY: Framlingham's 150th a moving celebration

THE Framlingham Aboriginal Reserve’s 150th anniversary celebrations on Saturday were overwhelmingly successful with up to 1500 people attending.

Ian Clark-Ugle, 7, in traditional ceremonial paint at Saturday’s Framlingham Aboriginal Reserve 150th anniversary celebrations.  Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Ian Clark-Ugle, 7, in traditional ceremonial paint at Saturday’s Framlingham Aboriginal Reserve 150th anniversary celebrations. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

The celebrations were the first time many local people had visited the reserve and organisers said attendees were moved by the historical displays that told of the reserve’s tragic past.

They said people were also heartened by the festival’s welcoming and gentle atmosphere and positive outlook for the future.

One of the leaders of tours through the reserve, Aboriginal elder and former reserve resident Rob Lowe, said many people were not aware of the discrimination and hardship the people on the reserve had experienced.

That hardship included Aboriginal children on the reserve being taken away from their parents.

Visitors’ understanding of that sad chapter in Australia’s history was made even more poignant when renowned indigenous singer Archie Roach, also a former reserve resident, sang his song Took the Children Away at the celebrations.

Roach was part of a long list of indigenous and non-indigenous performers who kept the festival buzzing from 11am-6pm.

In the festival booklet handed to visitors, Framlingham Aboriginal Trust chairman Possum Clark-Ugle said the process of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people needed to involve the stories about the treatment of Aborigines being told and understood.

Mr Clark-Ugle said people could not change the past but they could shape the future.

Aborigines had survived on the Framlingham reserve for 150 years and being proud of their heritage built a strong foundation for a positive future, he said.

“Having a broader non-indigenous community around us that is interested in understanding the truth of our joint history is important,” Mr Clark-Ugle said.

Event co-organiser Julie Eagles, a reserve resident, said she was overwhelmed by the positive response to the day. 

“It’s been a step forward in reconciliation,” she said. 

She said some of the reserve’s neighbours were among the many to visit for the first time.

Apart from giving the surrounding community an opportunity to understand the reserve’s history, the celebrations had also given extended family members of the reserve’s residents a more positive reason for returning than the funerals that usually drew them back.

“It (the celebrations) brought descendants from across Australia,” Ms Eagles said.

ehimmelreich@fairfaxmedia.com.au

The audience in the performers tent at the Framlingham Aboriginal Reserve 150th Anniversary. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

The audience in the performers tent at the Framlingham Aboriginal Reserve 150th Anniversary. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Yung Warriors member Tjimba performs. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Yung Warriors member Tjimba performs. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Yung Warriors duo Tjimba and Dboy. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Yung Warriors duo Tjimba and Dboy. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Yung Warriors duo Tjimba and Dboy perform. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Yung Warriors duo Tjimba and Dboy perform. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Rylan Miller, 7, and Jye Sumner, 7, both from Warrnambool. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Rylan Miller, 7, and Jye Sumner, 7, both from Warrnambool. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Joy Thongtham, 14, from Warrnambool, Merinda Ugle-Hagn, 13, from Framlingham and Aliera Harrison, 14, from Framlingham. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Joy Thongtham, 14, from Warrnambool, Merinda Ugle-Hagn, 13, from Framlingham and Aliera Harrison, 14, from Framlingham. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Gwen Brooks with Libby Clarke, the last person to be born at Framlingham. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Gwen Brooks with Libby Clarke, the last person to be born at Framlingham. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Marie Clarke from Bordertown, Sharon Clarke from Adelaide, Jessie Clarke from Bordertown, Gwen Brooks from Melbourne, Libby Clarke from Warrnambool and Frank Clarke from Port Augusta. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Marie Clarke from Bordertown, Sharon Clarke from Adelaide, Jessie Clarke from Bordertown, Gwen Brooks from Melbourne, Libby Clarke from Warrnambool and Frank Clarke from Port Augusta. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Billy Briggs, 20, from Warrnambool helps Jeffrey Summers-Alberts, 5, from Warrnambool throw a boomerang. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Billy Briggs, 20, from Warrnambool helps Jeffrey Summers-Alberts, 5, from Warrnambool throw a boomerang. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Bruce Campbell from The Cutting. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Bruce Campbell from The Cutting. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Tracy Roach from Warrnambool ran an Arts workshops, Rob Lowe Sr from Warrnambool did the Welcome to Country and tours, and Alice Ugle from Framlingham was the event co-ordinator. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Tracy Roach from Warrnambool ran an Arts workshops, Rob Lowe Sr from Warrnambool did the Welcome to Country and tours, and Alice Ugle from Framlingham was the event co-ordinator. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Kutcha Edwards singing. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Kutcha Edwards singing. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Damian O'Keefe and Bruce Campbell from The Cutting. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Damian O'Keefe and Bruce Campbell from The Cutting. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Damian O'Keefe from The Cutting. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Damian O'Keefe from The Cutting. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Gum Leaf player Herb Patten from Australia's Got Talent. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

Gum Leaf player Herb Patten from Australia's Got Talent. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT