Pied Oyster Catchers at Betka Beach, Mallacoota
This page contains various snippets about the Hagen family of Hurstbridge and some of our immediate relations. We live out on the fringes of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, where the city meets the bush.
If you are looking for something less egocentric then you should probably head for
Rod's Home Page .
There you will find snippets of anthropology, information about a range of indigenous issues, including Native Title, some bits and pieces about the environment, and other sundry thoughts, together with a collection of links to similar stuff elsewhere, and to other passing fetishes of the author (such as Macintosh computers, Citroens, the weather, the law, dogs, cats, horses and chickens, science , the mass media or whatever else comes to mind).
(Noel died on Saturday , October 26th, 2002, aged 80. We all miss him! I wrote a little more about him to read at his "departure ceremony". You can read it here )
Noel Hagen lives some way from Hurstbridge (roughly 750 kilometres away in fact) in the sunny climes of Sydney. Renowned for a somewhat whimsical sense of humour. Spent most of his working life peering into people's mouths saying "this will only hurt a bit" BUT really wanted to be a doctor or an historian or a playwrite - or even an anthropologist!
Until recently ran French courses for the University of the Third Age.
Continually threatening to write a biography of his grandfather (my great grandfather), Conrad Von Hagen, an interesting bloke of Schleswig Holstein origins, who grew up in London but moved to Australia as a young man. Conrad spent time working on Warrangesda Aboriginal mission with the Reverend Samuel Gribble and on Vindex Station in Queensland.
After this Conrad became involved in the Australian federation debates (he had a terrible penchant for the views of Henry George), was an active pacifist during the Boer War, and on one occasion stood as an independent against an Australian Prime Minister. Despite this apparently valuable life however, he also seems to have played a part in introducing Hire Purchase to Australia. No doubt Noel expects me to finish the biography if he doesn't. Sigh!
Noel also introduced me as a child to the joys of beach fishing, camping and French motor cars, for which I am eternally grateful!
If you are a long lost friend who hasn't seen him for fifty years, this is what he looked like then. He still wears the same glasses by the way!
Warning - Freya says this section is always way out of date. She is, of course quite right!
Freya Ruby Hagen, at the age of 15 , with her pup, Oscar.
Freya used to go to Eltham High School , which somehow still exists despite the best efforts of the previous Victorian Government who weren't keen on spending money on trivial luxuries like education, health and environmental matters.
Freya is now studying Arts at University , with a focus on
Politics, Anthropology, Sociology and History.
Freya's big sister, Ari Spierings, in earlier days. She always liked this photo taken while camping at a very pleasant East Gippsland estuary 17 years ago. (I am not allowed to divulge the name of the estuary, on pain of death, because of fears that it will be over-run with sports teachers listening to Whitney Houston on ghetto blasters).
A few years later she looked like this, blowing up a storm on her trumpet.
Then, of course, came the horse. Sherry is a 12 year
old ex-pacer, who manages to injure herself often
enough to avoid being ridden with any regularity. The last
one was a nasty one - a box thorn on an agistment property
went right through one eyeball, leaving her blind in that
In 1998, she's taking a break from study, enjoying earning the odd dollar or two and contemplating the future....In 1999....working for Optus but still contemplating....
In 2000 Ari married Jeremy Wilson.
In 2004 is still studying (one of those combined journalism and public relations sort of courses that I can never explain properly) , and working for Australia Post.
Linda Karen , mother of Freya,
daughter of Lorraine, wife of Rod, step
daughter of George; step mother of Ari etc. etc.
I first met Linda when she interviewed me for a job. She says she was the only one on the panel who didn't want to hire me (something about the way I put my feet up on her desk during the interview).
I knew we were meant for each other when she mailed me an
invitation to a party wrapped around a potato (raw, with the earth
still attached - its amazing what Australia Post will deliver . Its
amazing how symbolic the potato is for Estonians too. Linda's father,
Raoul Siska, came from
Estonia. Did Sir Walter Raleigh visit Estonia after plonking
the marvelous tuber in Queen Liz's lap? Or maybe some ancestral
Siska, unfeted by the history books, could have been amongst the
increasing crowd of Europeans who seem to have made it across the
Atlantic before young Chris Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Or maybe
the Basque cod fishers (who also seem to have made it across the
Atlantic before CC) brought back the spud and shared it with their
fellow non Indo-European language speakers in Estonia...
(photo Lynn Ann Wedley)
Linda , regardless of what she is doing, would probably rather be
Linda with Chooks
Lorraine, wife of George, mother of Linda and her brother Raoul Jnr, former wife of Raoul Senior (Linda's dad). Lorraine grew up in Melbourne and Fiji. Lorraine, (known to some of us as Isabel), makes one of the world's greatest Christmas Puddings. She and George have done a fair bit of travelling in recent years (to just about everywhere from Belgium to Banff).
Lorraine's grandfather, Dominic Sonsie came to Australia from
On her mother's side, Lorraine's great, great, great
grandfather, Major Anthony Beale was on the island of
St Helena when
imprisoned there. He came to Melbourne in 1839. The
north eastern Melbourne suburb of St Helena takes its name from the
house which he built there soon after his arrival.
Lorraine is known to every blackbird and magpie throughout the
Mornington Peninnsula, all of whom can be sure of decent feed if they
swoop past her kitchen window.
Margaret , mother of my sister, Rosemary and I, grandmother of Ari and Freya (how did Freya manage to wangle her way into all of these photos! OK, this one was taken a while ago). Margaret lives with us in the mud hut in Hurstbridge, where she plays a major role in maintaining the life support systems and general psychological well-being of the chooks, dogs and cat. She makes an irresistable fruit mince pie!
Margaret was born in Sydney. Her mother Rachel Fulleylove hailed from Derby, England and her father, Albert Parker came from Yorkshire. They came to Australia just after WW1 and lived in Rockdale, where Albert ran an engineering business.
Margaret spent her working life as a teacher. Her first
serious stint was out at Weethalee, a one teacher school in the wheat
belt of western NSW. After interruptions occasioned by the birth of
Rosemary, my sister, and I , trips to England and the like, she went
on to teach again at Narraweena Primary, French's Forest
Primary and Beacon Hill Primary School in Sydney's Northern
Suburbs. After retiring she hit the road, circumnavigating
Australia and heading off on various lightning trips to places such
as Cape York and the Flinders Ranges.
Well, I guess having inflicted the above on the poor long suffering family, I ought to say something about myself.
Born at Shoreham by Sea, Sussex, in 1952, during one of my parents' sojourns in England. Came to Australia at the age of 4 on the SS Arcadia. Back to England a few years later (G'day Bruce Hunt, if you are out there somewhere!) before finally coming back for good in 1964. Headed off to Macquarie Uni in the early 1970's, where I pursued a highly eclectic bachelors degree, starting off with lots of science and psychology and somehow ending up in the anthropology and comparative sociology honours program.
Went from there to Alice Springs in 1975, working for the Central Land Council,an indigenous organisation with statutory responsibilities for land related matters in the southern half of the Northern Territory. My first daughter, Ari, was born there in 1979.
Moved to Melbourne in 1980, and worked as a consultant
anthropologist, engaged by various indigenous and government agencies
until 1985, working on projects such as Environmental Impact Studies
at Portland, Victoria and Roxby Downs , South Australia for
indigenous groups, and on various Northern Territory Aboriginal land
claims and sacred site identification projects.
I'd rather be there! ( photo©Linda Hagen, 1987)
From 1985 to 1990 I ran a community organisation / legal centre in Melbourne called "Job Watch", which investigated exploitation in employment and training, undertook research into matters such as student work experiences and employment advertsising and produced educational resource materials. I met Linda at Job Watch and we were married in 1987. Freya came along a year later. Then it was off to the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Commission, running a major research project into drug and alcohol problems in the workplace and to Environment Victoria, managing a community based "traffic calming" program.
Since 1993 I've been back in the anthropology game, working on
anthropological and historical material associated with Native Title
issues and other areas involving indigenous interests in land, in
Victoria, Queensland, NSW and SA.
But outside of all that, sitting on a remote beach in a storm or the bank of a coastal stream on a sunny day, listening to the sound of seabirds' voices far away, is pretty much where I've always liked to be.
Betka Gulls , 1999
Text ©Rod Hagen, 1998,2001
Photographs© Rod Hagen 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 unless otherwise indicated