At MUC’s Service of Mourning for First Peoples. Heather from our Family@10 service shared this personal story
My great-great grandfather, Reverend Freidrich Hagenauer, was born in Bavaria in 1829 and came to Australia to undertake missionary work with Aboriginal people. This resulted in very bad treatment of many of our First Peoples. There was a complete lack of any appreciation of their culture, social structure, spirituality, language or relationship with the environment. I have had great regret about this for years.
Last Monday I attended the talk by Jim Poulter, whose family has had a very long connection to indigenous people in this area. Jim was talking about Aboriginal Spirituality and mentioned something that is being tried, to help in a small way, with reconciliation with our First Peoples.
In Box Hill North there is Hagenauer Reserve which has been the home of the Box Hill Athletic Club since 1969. The reserve was actually named after Freidrich’s son Frederick who lived in the area and sold the land to Box Hill Council in 1946 for the purpose of creating a park. Many Aboriginal athletes have had an association with the athletics track at the Reserve. There is now a move to change the name of the Reserve to acknowledge one of these people, and talks are continuing with a Councillor from the City of Whitehorse. I support this change.
Jim talked about none of us having to feel responsible for the actions of our ancestors but rather to look forward and aim for equality and reconciliation.