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Episode 4: Uncle Rick Nelson

Deep Trouble June 1, 2020


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Uncle Rick Nelson is a Jaara Jaara Elder whose homeland is the land of Dja Dja Wurrung people. Uncle Rick’s father is Uncle Brien Nelson, a significant figure in the Dja Dja Wurrung community. Uncle Rick is also a direct descendent of Henry ‘Harmony’ Nelson, an apical Elder of the Dja Dja Wurrung. Uncle Rick begins with a Welcome to Country before discussing the nuances of the Dja Dja Wurrung language and the importance of the two moieties, Bunjil the Eagle and Waa the Crow, to the cultural life of the Dja Dja Wurrung, as well as the mythology behind these moieties. He also tells the story of the devastating effects of early colonisation on the people of the Kulin nation as well as the country, with the introduction of 100,000 head of sheep and the same number of cattle, and the arrival of 60,000 white men within four years of European settlement. We then discuss the protectorate system that was set up in Victoria, which at the time was described as ‘a successful failure’.

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