On Country: Gunditjmara Elder Ivan Couzens
On Country: Gunditjmara Elder Ivan Couzens,
Sarah Rhodes, photographer,
silver gelatin print, 60x60cm,
Koorie Heritage Trust, 2011
Not to be reproduced without permission from the artist.Copyright
Uncle Ivan, known for his prowess on the football field, stands proud and strong on Thunder Point, overlooking Bass Strait. He has spent his life devoted to the Western District, championing stories about his Old People and actively keeping his ancestor's language alive. He compiled the Keerray Woorrong and related dialects dictionary, published by the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL) in 1996. Uncle Ivan enjoys sharing stories about his ancestors, which inspired his daughters Vicki and Debra Couzens to start the possum skin cloak movement with Lee Darroch, Treahna Hamm and Maree Clarke.
As a respected cultural leader, he wore the Djargurd Wurrong cloak at the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. The cloak was made by his daughter Vicki Couzens and grand-daughters Yarran, Jarrah, Marlee, Niyoka and Kirrae Bundle.
Click here to watch Interview: Gunditjmara Elder Ivan Couzens