William Barak

An ambassador to his people.

1824-1903

William Barak — 'Beruk' in the Woiwurrang language of his people — had leadership in his blood. At a time when Aboriginal people in Victoria were seen as, at best, a curiosity and at worst an obstruction to the colony's growth, Barak's diplomacy earned him genuine respect and support from white settlers. He also unified Aboriginal people, helping them to face an uncertain future in their irrevocably changed land.