On Taungurung Land: Sharing History and Culture - book launch

Published on 01 April 2021

On Taungurung Land - Book launch event - 27 March 2021.JPG

Murrindindi Shire Council was pleased to host a wonderful event on Saturday 27 March at its Alexandra Library - the launch of On Taungurung Land: Sharing History and Culture by Roy Henry Patterson and Dr Jennifer Jones. 

Murrindindi Shire Mayor Sandice McAulay said she was proud to welcome guests with an acknowledgement to country - including a number of Uncle Roy’s family.

‘This was a truly joyous occasion, attended by over 50 guests. Sadly, Uncle Roy passed away in 2017. But, as his family and Dr Jones agreed, he would have been very proud to have stood with us for the launch of this important work. Uncle Roy wanted to ensure his knowledge wasn’t lost to us. And I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Dr Jones for this wonderful and informative book. I feel richer for having read it.

‘Co-author Dr Jennifer Jones met with Uncle Roy many times, gathering stories and making recordings. Together they visited places of importance in the surrounding area and forest and experienced first-hand the taste and effect of bush tucker. The book includes images and uses of local bush tucker and bush medicine.

‘I have a special connection to this wonderful book. My husband Ray and I were lucky enough to host many of the meetings between Dr Jennifer Jones and Uncle Roy at our store in Taggerty, where together they discussed Uncle Roy’s knowledge, memories and stories – which form the basis of this book. Ray jokingly suggested that the launch be at the store, given the part our store played in getting the book published!’ Cr McAulay added.

‘This Memoir is significant as it plays an important role in preserving and sharing the knowledge of locally-available bush tucker, bush medicine and local indigenous culture and history of the Taungurung people. It is also a wonderful homage to a man who was so keen to share his culture and respect for this land. Uncle Roy wanted to revive and strengthen Taungurung cultural ways and for this knowledge to instil wider respect for Taungurung clan values. At Council, we think of this Memoir as an important means by which we can pay our respect to traditional owners of the land on which we live and work.

‘Council was pleased to have been approached back in 2016 to support Dr Jones in making a grant application to the Victorian Government to assist with publication of this work. Council gratefully acknowledges the support of the Victoria Government and Public Record Office Victoria for making this project possible under its Local History Grants Program’ said Cr McAulay.  

‘It was wonderful to share this day with Uncle Roy’s family, a number of whom travelled some way to be here. As part of the celebration, his grand-daughter Ricky Patterson planted a tree in the indigenous garden that sits on the banks of UT creek behind the library – a garden that Uncle Roy helped plant many years ago

‘I encourage you all to read this important and fascinating book and learn more about where we live from one of our local indigenous Elders, the irreplaceable Uncle Roy Patterson’.

You can borrow the book from our libraries, buy it online, or read an e-version for free here.

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