• Aaron Morgan, Western District Victoria. (Museums Victoria)
A new multimedia exhibition opening at the Museum of Victoria gives voice to a frequently overlooked and dark part of Australia’s history
By
Robert Burton-Bradley

8 Nov 2017 - 10:53 AM  UPDATED 9 Nov 2017 - 8:59 AM

Black Day, Sun Rises, Blood Runs tells the story of six different massacres involving First Australians opening at Museums Victoria. It is a multimedia map, drawn from the Victorian Massacre map, published in 1991 by the Koorie Heritage Trust, showing the sites of massacres across regional Victoria.

Curator of the exhibit Genevieve Grieves said it was a work many years coming as it was originally intended to be part of the First Peoples Exhibition when it opened in 2013.

“Sometimes you have to put things aside because of money and time and this was a really difficult one to put aside, but we didn’t have the time to do it justice and to tell it properly,” she tells NITV News.

“We’ve been working on it part time for the last year and we are really excited now that we are finally able to launch it.”

Grieves said with the many incidents in the frontier wars to choose from, deciding on six was a difficult process.

"There are many, many stories of violence in Victoria as there are across the country as we know, but these six stories share different elements of what this violence was like and most of that violence was in the form of massacres."

Museums Victoria CEO Lynley Marshall said the organisation was committed to remembering history as part of truth telling and reconciliation.

"Black Day, Sun Rises, Bloods Runs contains stories hidden from history and long-overdue to be told," she said.

"Guided by our inspirational Yulendj Group we are telling these stories with authenticity and sensitivity, to enable all Victorians to move forward in recognition and understanding of the truth of past tragedy."

The six narrators are Aunty Esther Kirby (North-west), Isobel Morphy-Walsh (North-east), John Clarke (Western District), Aaron Morgan and Aunty Eileen Alberts (Western District), Rob Hudson and Rhonda Coates (Gippsland and East Gippsland).

The stories of resistance involve massacres of Indigenous Australians by white settlers; however one is a retaliatory massacre of Europeans by Aboriginal Australians. This story is narrated by a descendant of the settlers who lived in the area at the time this massacre took place.

“One of the stories (Faithfull Family Massacre) we are focused on is where eight white people were killed in retribution for violence they were enacting against people,” said Grieves.

"She is a local historian who is committed to making sure the Indigenous side of history is told. This history is a shared history and belongs to all of us."

Black Day, Sun Rises, Blood Runs opens in First Peoples at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum from tomorrow, November 9 2017.

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