Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Artefacts returned to Aboriginal elder

A box of Aboriginal artefacts was handed over to local elder Ricky Ronnan last week.

ELAINE COONEY December 18, 2012 4:23am

Ricky Ronnan being presented with aboriginal artefacts by Rochester resident Margaret Thompson.

Rochester resident Margaret Thompson handed over a box of Aboriginal artefacts to elder Ricky Ronnan on Thursday.

The box of Aboriginal cooking utensils had been sitting in Mrs Thompson’s garage for 25 years and she decided they should be with the right person.

‘‘They came from this area and should stay in this area,’’ she said.

Mrs Thompson said she felt guilty holding the items for so long because they were not her property.

‘‘They should be with the tribe and people,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve got to look after the history here.’’

Mr Ronnan said the utensils were used to grind seed of the nardo plant and make a damper.

‘‘This is like Christmas to me,’’ he said as he was handed the artefacts.

‘‘It’s beautiful to find these from my area.’’

Mr Ronnan visits schools to educate students on Aboriginal culture and will bring the new artefacts to show children how cooking was done.

Mrs Thompson’s brother, Alex McGregor, was the owner of Lombardi Estate on the Northern Hwy and unearthed the artefacts while ploughing the land.

She said the family realised a mount on the land may have been an ancient oven but it was covered by crop.

When Mr McGregor discovered the ancient cooking utensils, he gave it to Mrs Thompson in a hessian bag as he knew she would take care of them.

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