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A basic map of the Taungurong territory in the context of the other Kulin nations

The Taungurong people, also known as the Daung Wurrung, were nine clans who spoke the Daungwurrung language and were part of the Kulin alliance of indigenous Australians.[1] They lived to the north of and were closely associated with the Woiwurrung speaking Wurundjeri people. Their territory was to the north of the Great Dividing Range in the watersheds of the Broken, Delatite, Coliban, Goulburn and Campaspe Rivers. They were also known by white settlers as the Devil's River Tribe or Goulburn River Tribe.[2]

The Taungurong people used the King and Howqua River valleys as a major route for trade or war between tribes.[3] The Howqua River valley contains a number of archaeological sites of significance including at least two quarry sites for greenstone, an exceptionally hard rock used for stone axes, spears and other cutting tools which the Taungurong traded with other tribes.[4]

A raiding party of up to 40 Taungurong is believed to have been killed in May–June 1839 on Dja Dja Wurrung territory at the Campaspe Plains massacre.[5]

In February 1859 some Wurundjeri elders, led by Simon Wonga (aged 35) and brother Tommy Munnering (aged 24) petitioned Protector William Thomas to secure land on behalf of the Taungurong clans for the Kulin at the junction of the Acheron and Goulburn rivers in Taungurong territory. Initial representations to the Victorian Government were positive, however the intervention of the most powerful squatter in Victoria, Hugh Glass, resulted in their removal to a colder site, Mohican Station, which was not suitable for agricultural land and had to be abandoned.[1][6]

In March 1863 after three years of upheaval, the surviving leaders, among them Simon Wonga and William Barak, led forty Wurundjeri, Taungurong (Goulburn River) and Bun warrung people over the Black Spur and squatted on a traditional camping site on Badger Creek near Healesville and requested ownership of the site. This became Coranderrk Station.[6]


  1. ^ a b Richard Broome, pp123-125, Aboriginal Victorians: A History Since 1800, Allen & Unwin, 2005, ISBN 1-74114-569-4, ISBN 978-1-74114-569-4
  2. ^ Gary Presland, pp45-46, Aboriginal Melbourne: The Lost Land of the Kulin People, Harriland Press (1985), Second edition 1994, ISBN 0-9577004-2-3.
  3. ^ Wonnangatta-Moroka Planning Unit, Alpine National Park Management Plan, Department of Conservation and Environment, September 1992, p68
  4. ^ Wonnangatta-Moroka Planning Unit, Alpine National Park Management Plan, Department of Conservation and Environment, September 1992, p69
  5. ^ Bain Attwood, pp7-9 My Country. A history of the Djadja Wurrung 1837-1864, Monash Publications in History:25, 1999, ISSN 08180032
  6. ^ a b Isabel Ellender and Peter Christiansen, pp112-113, People of the Merri Merri. The Wurundjeri in Colonial Days, Merri Creek Management Committee, 2001 ISBN 0-9577728-0-7