William Barak standing with Jules de Pury, Rico Sace and an unknown visitor with Frederic Guillaume and Ada de Pury seated at Yeringberg c.1886-1890
Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, 5555
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[We would like it] if the Government [would] leave us here, give us this ground and let us manage Coranderrk.
William Barak, 1881
Crops flourished at both Coranderrk and Yeringberg in the 1860s: award-winning hops on the Aboriginal farm, award-winning wine grapes in the de Pury vineyard.
By the end of the 1870s however, John Green, a popular manager at Coranderrk, had been forced to resign. There was considerable political pressure to close down the station, strongly resisted by Barak and the Kulin.
In 1881, a Victorian government inquiry into the future of Coranderrk Aboriginal Station was announced. Baron de Pury was invited to serve on the committee. He initially declined, then accepted. The reasons for his change of mind are unknown.
The inquiry brought into stark relief the power imbalances between the two properties.