Firstly we would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation situated. We would also like to acknowledge all of our Elders past, present and future.
In 1991 an Aboriginal Student Support Parent Awareness (ASSPA) group was formed with the support and assistance from Wodonga South Primary School. The first meeting occurred at a community member’s house out the back sitting on the steps having a cuppa tea. In 1992 a group of parents formed a Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (LAECG). It was through conversations between parents and teachers that there was a need to further develop a culturally safe learning space where the children could have assistance with doing their homework. A homework centre was established and was situated in the library at St Monica’s Primary school in Wodonga and the first cultural worker employed was Eddie Kneebone. The LAECG formed a partnership with the Wodonga TAFE to undertake a needs analysis on the educational needs of young people and adults in our community. The needs analysis provided a number of recommendations, they included: to employ a Koorie coordinator; to establish a Koorie Education Unit and provide specific courses to our community for example, A Certificate in Community Development & Management and a Certificate in Child Care.
The LAECG began to develop relevant programs to suitably meet the needs of the Local Aboriginal Community. Small grants provided the opportunity to start a newsletter called the ‘message stick’ which was made up every month by a number of volunteers to spread the word of what was happening in the community; a hobby art course was established and an Advisory Committee was formed to work towards becoming a corporation. There was a number of community gatherings, meetings and conversations regarding the naming of the corporation and having a logo that identified this area. There were many names put forward for consideration but the community members supported the corporation to be known as ‘Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation’ (MAC). However, the community members voted to seek endorsement from Pastor Cecil Grant, (Wiradjuri Elder) prior it officially being named ‘Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation’. Another significant part of this story was the development of the MAC logo. A competition was held to have a logo design. At one of the regular community meetings community members voted on the logo they thought represented this area and the logo story. The artist’s names were not disclosed to after the competition winner was announced. The winner of the logo competition was Pettina Love
Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) was then formally Incorporated on the Twenty-Seventh Day September 1994 – (27th Sep 94). The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs officially Launched Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation. MAC was the first Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation in the Wodonga area. The aim of the corporation was to provide a healthy and proud community through motivation, education and cultural acknowledgment and giving a sense of belonging and ownership. The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporation (VAEAI) assisted and guided the Advisory Committee through the process to be a registered corporation with the Office of Registrar Indigenous Corporations (ORIC).