William Barak commemorative monument
The concrete obelisk and portrait relief plaque commemorates Wurundjeri leader William Barak.
William Barak was an important Wurundjeri leader who features significantly in Melbourne’s history. He was born in the 1824 into the Woiwurrung tribe, also know as the Wurundjeri tribe, at Brushy Creek (which is now known as North Croydon).
Barak was the son of Bebejan who was a Wurundjeri ngurungaetas, or clan leader. Barak was the last full blood of the Wurundjeri tribe.
In 1835 Barak was witness to John Batman's 'treaty'. He attended a Church of England mission school under Reverend Langhorne's tuition and later joined the Native Police.
After his wife died in 1863 Barak moved to Corranderrk and inherited the valuable axe quarries near Lancefield through his mother's mother. He became headman of the tribe after Wonga died but was to see his wives and children pre-decease him while the tribe slowly disintegrated.
Barak was a great help to the settlers but in his later years came to resent the intrusion of European settlement.
You can view the commemorative monument in Hughes Park, Maroondah Highway, Croydon, 3136.
Croydon Historical Society funded the plaque and Boral Quarries donated the obelisk which is 1.5 metres high, set in concrete amongst wattle trees. A bas relief of Barak tops the plaque.
To find out more about the important impact that William Baraks efforts had on Wurrundjeri Country, visit the Victoria Government website.