An excerpt from Lady of the Lake, Aunty Iris’s story
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users are warned that Lady of the Lake may contain images of deceased persons and images of places that could cause sorrow.
Writer/director Richard Frankland
Produced by John Foss
Sponsored by The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
Contact Koorie Heritage Trust Inc. for permission to download.Copyright
Koorie Heritage Trust Inc.
"Lady of the Lake" is the story of Gunditjmara Elder Aunty Iris Lovett-Gardiner and her life at Lake Condah in the western districts of Victoria. "The Mission" is an excerpt.
I was born here, we’re at the Lake Condah Mission an’ I was born here in 1926 at the place we call the Dormitory, which is over that way. This place that you see here now behind me was at one time the Mission House where the Manager lived and this is where he controlled the whole Mission from, this place here. It was a big house, this was an’ a fire came through here in 1938 and burnt a lot of people out. The Mission wasn’t like it is now. It was full of life an’ everybody was happy, you know, in a way that they could be. We all knew each other, loved each other an’ things like that. But this place holds a great significance for a lot of our people even they’ve been moved off the Mission an’ the Mission has been desecrated, broken down and things like that, the houses where people had lived in that area in 1918 and all that sort of thing. We still hold a good memory here because I think when you are a child and hold a memory of a place that never fades. The journey through life is a different thing altogether. That’s where you build yourself up or let yourself down, one thing or the other. We used to roam all over this place but there were places we weren’t allowed to go. We weren’t allowed to go to places because of what the elders said, “don’t go there” an’ we never questioned ‘em. Once they said you don’t go you didn’t go and that was it. All the other things came out later on when we sort of found out about the Mission an’ what had happened here and went and looked at old records about how Stahle ran this place and how he treated our great ones, you know our grandfathers and grandmothers. In here my brother was born, my brother Charlie he was born here and my sister Feemie, so there’s three of us were born on the Mission …that’s why we hold it very dearly to ourselves.