Lake Tyers Mission Station was established in 1861 by the Church of England missionary, John Bulmer. It was situated on Lake Tyers in Gippsland and accommodated local Aboriginal people and others who were moved there from reserves such as Coranderrk, Ebenezer and Ramahyuck when they closed. In 1971 the Victorian Government returned the land to the Aboriginal community. It is now known as Bung Yarnda.
In May 1863 the Victorian Government gazetted an area of 2,000 acres as the Lake Tyers Reserve. It was increased to 4,000 acres. This included 16 acres under cultivation, an orchard and stock. John Bulmer managed the Reserve until his resignation at the end of 1907. The Government took over in 1908 and restricted the residents' freedom of movement and narrowed the school curriculum. The buildings, which numbered 17, included a church and school room.
The daily routine for the population included religious services twice a day, while the children had daily bible classes.
Unlike the managers of other Reserves, Bulmer had encouraged the residents to maintain their culture and their hunting practices as a means of supplementing their rations.
In 1906 the residents from Ramahyuck moved to Lake Tyers, followed by others from Lake Condah and Coranderrk, when they closed.
In 1917 the Central Board for the Protection of Aborigines adopted a policy of 'concentrating' all Aboriginal people at the Lake Tyers Station.
The residents, with the support of Pastor Doug Nichols and the Aborigines Advancement Leagfue, resisted Government assimilation policies. Between 1956 and 1965 they agitated for the Station to become an independent, Aboriginal-run farming cooperative. In 1965 it was declared a permanent reserve.
Prepared by: Rosemary Francis
Created: 8 May 2014, Last modified: 1 June 2017