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VALE Aunty Irene Lawrey - The passing of a valued Elder

Irene Lawrey.JPG

It was with deep regret that Franklin descendants were informed of the recent sudden passing of Aunty Irene Lawrey. For many years Aunty Irene was an integral part of the family’s search for the history behind the Franklin’s relationship with the Kilmore - Yea region. There was no stone unturned or article unread as Aunty Irene pursued her knowledge about her Aboriginal heritage. Her move to the nursing home at Kilmore in 2010 provided a wonderful location to continue her story. She confided that she was glad to be living in Kilmore as she felt she was ‘home’ as she was on Taungurung country.

Aunty Irene’s quest for her history started as a young girl and was willingly shared amongst many Franklin descendants. Documents, in the form of letters and official correspondence as well as photographs and anecdotes were readily exchanged with other family members to help compile and assemble a true history of the Nira Balug clan of the Taungurung. Sadly, just as family members were in a position to help Aunty Irene document her findings she advised she needed time to regain her health and consequently this project was temporarily placed on hold.

Fortunately many of her files, photographs and notes have been archived but it is her interesting yarns and stories she retained in her memory that will be lost to the rest of the family.

She will be sadly missed by her family and by all those who worked closely with her. It is hoped that her work will be continued by other members of the Franklin family.