Storyteller: Freddie Dowling
Storytelling: Freddie Dowling
Photograph Bindy Welsh, 2011
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Bindy Welsh, Indigo Images
Freddie Dowling is one of the elders of the Pangerang people. He is a storyteller and published author. His No More the Valley Rings with Koorie Laughter is a collection of stories, the majority of which were told to him by his father and his grandmother Annie Lewis, the niece of Mary Jane Milawa. These stories were written down in 1975 for his own family ’so that their descendants could reflect on who they were and learn something of their culture and how it was before white settlement changed everything’.
Freddie Dowling was born in Melbourne and grew up in Wangaratta, where he lived most of his life, until recently. Freddie’s father Frank ‘Munja’ Dowling was a ‘dab chick’ and served in the navy in World War I and II on HMAS Adelaide as a gunner and a navy diver, a skill he learned as a boy whilst diving for mussels in the Ovens River.
The Pangerang/Bangerang people, a nation of sub-clans, occupied much of what is now North Eastern Victoria stretching along the Tongala (Murray) River to Echuca and into the areas of the southern Riverina in New South Wales.