Taungerong

About the Taungurung - the Taungurung People

Today the cities and towns of Yea, Eildon, Kilmore, Seymour, Wangaratta, Benalla and Mansfield are on the land of the Taungurung.

The Taungurung people fought hard to protect their lands when the pastoralists began to fence off areas that belonged to the Taungurung. The fate of the Taungurung was similar to all the Kulin Nation peoples where diseases, warfares, etc. were extenuating circumstances to the decline of the population. Originally, the Taungurung were moved to the Acheron Mission and when this mission station was closed down, survivors were sent to Coranderrk Aboriginal Mission at Healesville, in the land of the Wurundjeri.

Camp Jungai, a well known place attended by Victorian Aboriginal peoples for school camps and conferences, is situated on Taungerong land. Camp Jungai is located at Rubicon in the Lake Eildon district.

It has been noted that due to the drought currently being experienced in Victoria, the level of Lake Eildon has dropped dramatically. This has revealed a large number of scarred trees and in particular, a burial tree. Taungurung people today still reside in the country of their ancestors, others have moved to other areas, but their link with their 'Mother' country remains strong.

The following is a list of the clans within the Tuangurung area:

  • Nattarak-bulluk (Goulburn River near Seymour)
  • Leuk-willam / Look-yellan (near Kilmore)
  • Nira-balluk (Kilmore)
  • Warring-illam-balluk (Junction of the Yea and Goulburn Rivers)
  • Yowung-illam-balluk / Yauung-illam-Balluk (Alexandra, Upper Yea River)
  • Buthera-balluk (Goulburn River, Seymour)
  • Yaran-illam (East side of Goulburn River below Mitchellstown)
  • Yeerun-illam-balluk (Broken River, Benalla)

Boundaries

The Taungurung people occupied the lands north of the Great Dividing Range to south-east of Mansfield, northwards past Benalla, across to Wangaratta in the west. The western boundary was provided by the Great Dividing Range then proceeded south to Kyneton, embracing the catchment areas for the Campaspe and Goulburn Rivers, as well as Broken River and Broken Creek.

Language / terminology

Some key terms of the Taungurung people (and their English equivalent) are noted here:

  • Balluk - swamp
  • Nira - cave
  • Illam - bark, hut, camp

Totems

The two moeity totems of the Taungurung people are Bunjil the Eaglehawk and Waang the Crow.

Further information...

To learn more about the Taungurung people, contact:

Mirimbiak Nations Aboriginal Corporation
75-79 Chetwynd Street
North Melbourne, Vic. 3051
Tel: 9326 3900
Fax: 9326 4075

Kulin Nation Cultural Heritage Organisation
Suite 1, 241 Thomas Street
Dandenong Vic 3175
Tel: 9793 5922 or 9793 1735
Fax: 9793 2800

A Taungurung Story

Click above for an interview with Mrs Glenys Merry, an Elder of the Taungurung.