Movie: Wonnarua People visit the Collection

In November 2009 people from the Wonnarua nation, around Singleton, New South Wales, came to the Australian Museum to view the Morrison Collection - which contains objects collected around the Hunter region at the turn of the 20th century.

This project has been supported by the Indigenous Culture Support Program, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

© Australian Museum and Wonnarua people
Finton Mahony
Laurie Perry


Hello my name’s Laurie Perry. I’m a Wonarrua person. My area where I come from is about an hour’s drive from Newcastle geographically.

We’re here today to talk about how we can put the Morrison Collection, which is a part of Wonarrua peoples’ collection of material which comes from a very important place in the Hunter Valley, namely the St Clair Mission.

The St Clair Mission is important to the Wonarrua people, which is a belt of land that we own just on the outskirts of Singleton in Carrowbrook and the Morrison Collection is a very important collection to our people. There was actually an arch that was built in George Street in Singleton in the 1900s and we’re here today to discuss and talk about that and actually put it on a website for all our members and wider public to see.

Seeing the objects today to me gave me a great sense of ownership. The collection to me is very important to our people. A part of it comes from the St Clair area and other parts are from other areas around Australia, but to me the collection signifies that there is a greater understanding between the aboriginal people, the traditional owners the Wonarrua people of the area.

This is my aunty Cath. One good thing to come out of this is that my aunty Cath, whose family are on that Mission as well, visited the place a couple of times when she was young and for her to be here with me at the moment is quite exciting.

Well at the moment the Wonarrua Nation Aboriginal Corporation - well we have actually developed the Reclamation Committee and also to look at getting our information back and putting it onto the website. We were also there to look at the language program that is inside of what we're trying to achieve and the language to us is very important. It's going to create a greater understanding, not just for our people, but for the wider community. We're looking at working in partnership with the Australian Museum and other funding bodies to reclaim our culture and heritage and our history.

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Tags Wonnarua, phil gordon, finton, morrison collection,