Framlingham Aboriginal Station operated from 1865 when the Church of England Mission applied to open a station on the Framlingham Reserve beside the Hopkins River, approximately 25 kilometres from Warrnambool. It was Girai Wurrung country. In 1861 the Government had gazetted 3,500 acres for such a purpose. It closed temporarily in 1867, but re-opened in 1869 and closed finally in 1890.
The Church of England Mission to the Aborigines of Victoria operated Framlingham for a short period and handed it back to the Central Board for the Protection of Aborigines. Shortage of funds and a disagreement with the manager, Daniel Clarke, were reasons advanced for the decision. By 1867 the Board decided to move the Aborigines living on Framlingham to Lake Condah where a new Aboriginal station would be opened.
The move was resisted and the Station was operating again by 1870. There was considerable movement of Aboriginal people between Framlingham and Lake Condah. Living conditions were basic and it was the last of the Aboriginal stations to gain a teacher for the school in 1878.
Housing had to be provided for up to 90 residents. They were issued with basic rations of flour, sugar, tea and tobacco, but were expected to supplement these basic rations by their own efforts. For example they were expected to hunt and supply their own meat.
The Board provided essential clothing, but not boots. The Aborigines were expected to earn money to help provide for themselves.
As Framlingham was a station managed by a lay person, religious services were less regular than at Lake Condah. Although the Station closed in 1890, Aborigines continued to live on Framlingham and in 1970, under the Aboriginal Lands Act, Framlingham was handed to the Framlingham Trust and resumed its operation under Aboriginal ownership.
Sources used to compile this entry: Critchett, Jan, Our land till we die: a History of the Framlingham Aborigines, Revised. edn, Deakin University Press, Warrnambool, Vic., 1992, 110 pp.
Prepared by: Rosemary Francis
Created: 14 May 2014, Last modified: 25 May 2018