In 1881, the people of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station took on the Board for the Protection of Aborigines in a fight for dignity and self- determination. Today, we bring their voices back to life through a verbatim reading and live performance of their testimonies before the Coranderrk Parliamentary Inquiry.

This special, one-off performance will be staged on Country, at Coranderrk itself, on the very land where many of the witnesses at the Inquiry gave their evidence 134 years ago.

Through the medium of verbatim theatre, the cast of Coranderrk: We Will Show The Country re-enacts key passages from the testimonies, letters and petitions of 20 witnesses (nine of them Aboriginal) who gave evidence at the 1881 Parliamentary Coranderrk Inquiry — from the Wurundjeri clan-head William Barak, who led the Coranderrk community, to the members of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines, who sought to undermine it. Coranderrk: We Will Show The Country pays tribute to the resilience and adaptability of a people who rose to the challenge despite all odds, appropriating the power of the written word and white political discourse to demand justice, while also celebrating the spirit of friendship and genuine collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Not a story of ‘black vs. white’, it offers a lesson in justice that still holds today.

The script of Coranderrk: We Will Show The Country consists entirely of extracts from the minutes of evidence of the 1881 Parliamentary Coranderrk Inquiry. Writer/historian Giordano Nanni and Yorta Yorta playwright Andrea James worked together to distil the key sections of this 141- page document of evidence into a script for an 80-minute performance.

Following the performance, find out how this story continues today as the descendants of William Barak talk about plans to develop and rejuvenate Coranderrk into a self-supporting farming community, thereby fulfilling the dream Barak and the Coranderrk residents fought to achieve in their own lifetime.

Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country was first presented at La Mama Courthouse in 2010. Back by popular demand, La Mama is delighted to present this re-staging of the original reading of this very important work, on Country at Coranderrk where this story belongs.

By Giordano Nanni and Andrea James

Performed by Uncle Jack Charles, Jim Daly, Syd Brisbane, Glenn Shea, David Paterson, Greg Fryer, Pauline Whyman, Peter Finlay and Liz Jones

Based on the original 2010 production directed by Rachael Maza

Original design by Bronwyn Pringle

Part of the Minutes of Evidence Project and Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation

  Screen shot 2016-01-14 at 12.31.05 PM This special performance will be staged on the land were Coranderrk stood – here photographed in 1883 Further Information:

  • Please arrive early. Charcoal Lane will be proving tasting plates at 5.30pm. Gates close 6.15pm to allow for parking and walking to stage.
  • This will be an outdoor event
  • BYO food & alcohol (restrictions apply), picnic rugs and chairs. Please note there will be no food vans.
  • A unique culinary tasting will be offered by Charcoal Lane
  • No umbrellas
  • All weather event
  • Event will be cancelled on a CODE RED day. Please check La Mama Website & Facebook close to the day for updates.
  • Please take your rubbish home
  • Limited parking, please car pool if you can
  • Please note, this event will be filmed




February 21


Performance 6.30pm Gates 5pm


Barak Lane, Coranderrk

Tickets Info/

Full $25 Concession $18

Phone Booking/

03 9347 6142

Running Time/

Approx. 120 min (including pre and post show discussion)