Barak Campus — Years 10 to 12
- Academic Programs: Skills for Work, VCE, VCAL, VET and ASBA apprenticeships
- Faith Development Programs: Masses, Liturgies, year level Retreats, soup van, Ozanam House, Regina Coeli
- Student Leadership: Prefects, Pastoral Ministry, Peer Support and mentoring
- Social Justice: Jigalong and Santa Teresa experiences, Seeds of Justice, soup van, Yellow Ribbon Ambassadors, Regina Coeli, Ozanam House
- Cocurricular: Performing Arts, Sport, Year Level Socials, Debating and Public Speaking
Born in 1824, William Barak was a member of the Wurundjeri clan of the Woiworung people in the area of Melbourne now known as Croydon. Originally known as Beruk Barak he adopted the name William after joining the Native Police as a 19-year-old. As a young boy in 1835, he witnessed his father Bebejan, his uncle Billibellary, and other tribal Elders sign John Batman’s Treaty which was to have grave consequences for his people. His father was the NAARM (Melbourne) region’s most senior Elder.
From the late 1870s he became a leading spokesman for his people and was an important negotiator between his people and the government. He was a prominent figure in the struggle for Indigenous rights and justice. He suggested to the Victorian government that they set up self-governing Aboriginal communities. "Give us this ground and let us manage here ourselves ... and no one over us," he said. With his cousin Simon Wonga, Barak worked to establish and protect the self-sufficient Aboriginal farming community Coranderrk, near Healesville, and when his cousin died in 1875 he succeeded him as clan leader.
Despite many negotiations and walks to Parliament to plead his case, the government took over half of the Coranderrk land in 1893 and by 1923 the people who were still living there were sent to Lake Tyers. Barak was held in high regard as an artist and many of his works are held in Victoria’s cultural institutions. His art showed the complexity and importance of his peoples' cultural and spiritual life. Barak also combined traditional Indigenous materials with European techniques and paints.
At Coranderrk, where Indigenous ceremonies were banned, Barak used his paintings to teach and lead his people, passing on Aboriginal history and customs. Says Joy Murphy-Wandin: "Perhaps Barak knew that people would be writing stories about his life. Maybe he felt the need to tell his own story in his own way. These beautiful images reiterate and confirm the importance of identity and the central place of ceremony in Aboriginal society. These images should not be ignored. They are embedded with respect and integrity and represent the stories of the oldest living culture in the world."
Campus Leadership 2019
The Barak Campus is led by a
Campus Director who is committed to coordinating the daily life and learning
experience of students from Years 10-12.
Barak Campus Director: