Indigenous crowdfunding win

Members and supporters of the Mamunya Indigenous crowdfunding campaign to buy back a parcel of land at Chewton are celebrating after the campaign eclipsed its target.

A crowdfunding campaign to purchase a parcel of land at Chewton as a permanent base for the local Indigenous community has rocketed to success, meeting and eclipsing its target just days after launching.
“We’re still in a bit of disbelief in a beautiful way. It’s very exciting. It’s amazing,” Nalderun CEO Kathryn Coff said.
Ms Coff said operators of the Chuffed online crowdfunding platform had described it as unprecedented for a campaign to so quickly reach and surpass its target.
“Chuffed have said it’s unprecedented,” Ms Coff told The Midland Express.
The campaign run by Mamunya – the Friends of Nalderun Education Aboriginal Corporation – had aimed to raise $150,000 to enable the local Nalderun Aboriginal organisation to secure a site of about five acres near Forest Creek at Chewton as a permanent base for a wide range of Indigenous education and cultural heritage programs.
Within just nine days of being announced the online tally had rocketed to $152,665.
While support kept rolling in, a delighted Ms Coff said any money raised above the purchase price would be put to good use “such as paying stamp duty, for shire rates, for building infrastructure, for activities on the land that will support the Nalderun Aboriginal Community to connect and protect the country there”.
“We are just so grateful for what people have done. We’ve all been left a bit speechless,” Ms Coff said.
Donations had poured in from far and wide, ranging from the immediate Castlemaine area to overseas, with many contributions made anonymously.
“The donations have come in from everywhere, even internationally,” Ms Coff said.
“We are definitely in a time of healing.”
Organisers of the Mamunya crowdfunding campaign described the result as “a powerful testament to the solid work Nalderun has been doing in our community for the past 10 years”.
“What an incredible show of support for a great cause, from the local community and people in general,” local Dj Dja Wurrung Indigenous elder Uncle Rick Nelson said.
“This will give us our own base for many years and future generations.”
Well-known Castlemaine reconciliation advocate Vic Say also observed that the campaign had garnered support from a wide cross section of the community.
“The most moving thing has been to see the speed of response and variety in people from across all groups in the community,” Mr Say said.
“The main message I get is a willingness by a broad section of the community to give back to the Aboriginal community some of the land that was always theirs.”