Barak Memorial
Barak Memorial
Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The monument erected over the grave commemoratesBarak, the last chief of the Yarra Yarra (Wurundjeri) tribe who died on 15 August 1903. The monument was relocated to the cemetery in 1955. 

The monument was a gift of Anne Fraser Bon who formed a friendship with Barak when her child died. When her husband died she had a beautiful monument made with her husband`s name and her child`s name inscribed on it. When her place at Wappan Station was to be flooded to become the Eildon Weir, Anne decided that she should move the monument.

It was during this time that William Barak passed away so Anne engaged some tradespeople to scratch her husband`s name and her child`s name from the monument and re-inscribe it in memory of William Barak. The monument was shifted to the Coranderkk Aboriginal cemetery from Healesville`s main street by the Bread and Cheese Club in 1955.

Healesville Wednesday. — This afternoon the Chancellor of the University (Sir John MacFarland) unveiled the monument erected to the memory of William Barak, last king of the Yarra Yarra aborigines. Many visitors and residents, including several aborigines, gathered at the memorial, but heavy rain compelled them to seek shelter in the council chamber where the dedication service and official opening ceremony were performed. Though she is aged 96 years, Mrs. Bon, who gave the memorial stone, was present. For more than 60 years she has been a sympathetic friend of aborigines, and for 30 years she represented them on the Aborigines' Board. Sir John MacFarland said that the old chief Barak claimed that he could remember Batman's famous bargain when a huge area of land round Port Phillip was acquired for the white men. Barak's father was one of the chiefs with whom the contract was made. Later Barak became a trooper, and he was a proficient tracker. The last years of his life were spent at the Coranderrk settlement. He died in 1903.

Councillor S. B. Mowie, on behalf of the councillors and residents of Healesville, accepted the stone and assured Mrs. Bon that the gift would be carefully preserved. It was proposed that an avenue of trees should be planted near the memorial and that a garden would be established. On behalf of Mrs. Bon a brief address was read in response. It expressed her hope that the blacks of North Australia would be dealt with wisely and sanely. The Lilydale Band played, and the singing of hymns was led by the Rev. Donald Cameron.
Argus (Melbourne), 28 June 1934.


Address:Barak Lane, Coranderrk Cemetery, Healesville, 3777
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.6875
Long: 145.505833
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 27th June, 1934
Front Inscription

To the glory of God and to the memory of Barak,

Last Chief of the Yarra Yarra Tribe of Aborigines and his race.

Barak died at Coranderrk
15th Aug. 1903, Aged 85.

A sincere Christian.

This stone is the gift of Anne Fraser Bon, late of Wappan Estate, Bonnie Doon, to the shire of Healesville and is erected by  public subscription 1934.

Re-erected here over his grave, surrounded by 300 of his race, by the Bread and Cheese Club 1955.

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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