Raukkan is 165 km from the Adelaide and 80 km from Murray Bridge in the lower Murray Coorong area. The community’s name means 'meeting place' in the Ngarrindjeri language. For thousands of years clans have met here, on the banks of Lake Alexandrina. This is their spiritual home, the heart of the Ngarrindjeri nation.
Raukkan is the birthplace of Aboriginal author, inventor and political leader David Unaipon and home to the famous Raukkan Church, both of which appear on Australia’s $50 note. Raukkan is also home to the Ngarrindjeri Choir, heroes of the First and Second World Wars and the legendary Swans football team.
In 1859 missionary George Taplin founded the Point McLeay Mission at Raukkan. Raukkan Primary School was opened in 1860 and remains one of South Australia’s oldest and most historic educational institutions.
In 1916 the Government took over the Mission from the Aboriginies Friends Association, administering it as a Reserve. In1974 Point McLeay (Raukkan) was finally handed back freehold to the Ngarrindjeri people. Now the community council and community owned farm are an inspirational model of community management and care.
The Big Stories team spent part of 2010 living in Raukkan with the support of the local community. We filmed the celebrations of the school’s 150-year anniversary and Raukkan's premiership win at the State Aboriginal Football Carnival for the second consecutive year.
As filmmakers, our journey into community took us to a swan hunt on the lake, working out on the farm and many hours recording the wisdom of the elders and learning of the deep spiritual connections to this special place.