Today the weetapoona Aboriginal Corporation (wAC) is recognising a significant milestone – finalising the divestment of Murrayfield Station, located on the north-eastern corner of Bruny Island, Tasmania.
The Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) will hand over the station’s business operations to the wAC to permanently manage, including farming duties, sheep and wool production and property maintenance.
The wAC will also manage the onsite accommodation for school and university students, who use the facilities for camping and Aboriginal education programs. The farm also supports trainees completing their Certificate II and III in Agriculture.
The transfer of Murrayfield’s farming business marks the final chapter in the property’s divestment, a journey which began in 2015, when the ILSC divested the station’s land to the wAC.
Located on 4,100 ha of land, Murrayfield Station produces roughly 50,000 kilograms of fine wool and 500 prime lambs each year, with a commitment to maintaining Indigenous heritage in North Bruny.
A ceremony to commemorate the divestment is being held on Nuenonne Country and will be attended by Elders, community members, wAC staff and ILSC representatives.
Following a Welcome to Country, celebrations will include a smoking ceremony, speeches and a reading of the poem ‘A Proud People’ by Debbie Cowen.
The divestment is another step towards the wAC achieving self-determination, not only for themselves, but for the wider Nuenonne community.
Prior to the ceremony, the ILSC Board travelled to Bruny Island, spending time with Elder Uncle Rodney Dillon and weetapoona Aboriginal Corporation Directors on Country.
ILSC Group Chief Executive Officer, Joe Morrison, said the ILSC Board was honoured to be hosted by the wAC, as the ILSC transitions out of the property.
“During our visit, the ILSC Board got to see first-hand weetapoona’s operations and deepen our understanding of its aspirations for Country,” said Mr Morrison.
“We wish them all the very best in their future endeavours, and we look forward to seeing their cultural knowledge and connection to Country continue to strengthen,” said Mr Morrison.
Palawa Elder, Uncle Rodney Dillon, said today’s ceremony is the perfect opportunity for weetapoona and the wider community to celebrate this momentous day.
“This divestment ceremony marks the final piece of the puzzle in the return of Murrayfield Station to our people,” said Mr Dillon.
“This is such an important achievement for the community, and it has certainly come at the right time for us,” said Mr Dillon.
Since 2001, the site has been managed by the Michael family, beginning with Bruce and Lynne Michael, followed by their son Todd, who took over in 2019 with his partner Ashley after his parents’ retirement.
“Over the past 22 years, my family and I have been lucky to form close connections with the wAC, local Indigenous community and Uncle Rodney Dillon,” said Mr (Todd) Michael
“We look forward to continuing our care for the farm, animals, land and wildlife under weetapoona’s management,” said Mr (Todd) Michael.
The station will continue to predominately operate as a merino wool enterprise and is located on 150 Trumpeter Bay Road, Bruny Island, Tasmania 7150.