Posts

The last of the Wild Blacks

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This post amounts to what knowledge I have on a famous historical Aborigine from today’s Canberra region whose significance is largely unknown yet should be worthy of a monument. This man's name was Onyong.

When I say knowledge I mean information collected over time that I have absorbed. Often I did not reference these gems as I never thought I’d be writing at any length about what I discovered to be a remarkable story that opens a window to the realities of European expansion.

This post is also an expansion of an essay I wrote in 2010 and I think the meagre information still paints a picture of a full life representative of those affected by colonial history wherever it was forged.

As far as I can discover, around the year 1825 there was an estimated 6 or 7 hundred strong Indigenous population roaming the plains, reportedly counting only the men. Onyong was a well known Aboriginal man and apparent leader of his people, the Ngambri, during the time of early European settlement of th…

Plea to the King to allow Aboriginal kids go to school

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One of the most powerful historical documents I've found originated from the aunty of a mate of mine. Written in 1926 it is an impassioned plea to the King of England to allow Aboriginal and half-caste children permission to attend the Batemans Bay Public School.

Interestingly the letter was officially unacknowledged. Best left for your own interpretation.

Frying Pan's Theology

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Frying Pan's Theology

Scene: On Monaro.
Dramatis Personae:
Shock headed blackfellow,
Boy (on a pony).
Snowflakes are falling
So gentle and slow,
Youngster says, 'Frying Pan,
What makes it snow?'
Frying Pan confident
Makes the reply--
'Skake 'im big flourbag
Up in the sky!'
'What if there's miles of it!
Surely that's brag.
Who is there strong enough
Shake such a bag?'
'What parson tellin' you,
Ole Mister Dodd,
Tell you in Sunday-school?
Big feller God!
He drive 'im bullock dray,
Then thunder go,
He shake 'im flour bag--
Tumble down snow!'

Banjo Patterson

Think about that... I had decided to finish with this blog because I had exhausted the historical research the blog was started to accomplish. A recent reading of a 19th century Australian poem has reignited a desire to publish a few thoughts on,  amongst other things, some indigenous themes in relation to the truthful but largely ignored history of European Invasion.

I have a f…

Honest History piece

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I was asked to write something for the excellent website Honest History.


It's my thoughts on the forgotten wars of colonial expansion between European settlers and the First People's of Australia.

Reconciliation please but don't mention the war.

Housing development west of the Murrumbidgee

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Moves to begin housing development west of the Murrumbidgee River seem to be travelling quite quickly.


I've always thought eventually the properties there would be resumed when the population warranted and the North and South filled.

NCA to report on urban development west of Tuggeranong.

http://m.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/nca-to-report-on-urban-development-of-west-tuggeranong-20140709-zt0uv.html

Commonwealth agrees to relinquish planning control from National Capital Authority in Canberra.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-30/act-government-take-planning-control/6433652

Housing west of Tuggeranong likely in the long term, says ACT boss Andrew Bar.

http://m.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/housing-west-of-tuggeranong-is-likely-in-the-long-term-says-act-boss-andrew-barr-20150430-1mww8n.html

Interestingly my family moved into the brand new Woden Valley suburb of Pearce in 1966. I watched the expanse of Tuggeranong develop and now suspect in a decade to watch the development across the…

Restoring an Eco-system

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An ambitious project has been launched at Scottsdale Reserve which is about 4 kms from Bredbo South of Canberra. Established by an organisation Bush Heritage Australia it's one of the most worthwhile projects I've heard of in a long time.

Ten-year plan to combat Australia's extinction crisis launched south of Canberra.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-08/ten-year-plan-to-combat-australias-extinction-crisis/6376128

Defining the Nation

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Something that's been irking me. I'm afraid I'm getting a bit ANZACed out. The notion that the failed Galipoli Campaign defined the Nation, that 8 months, 2 weeks & 1 day trumps every other Australian historical experience is almost jingoistic.

I'm going to be blunt. What defined us before Gallipoli and indeed before federation was the 112 year frontier war enforcing Terra nullius with muskets, poison and massacres. You can add the historical timeline of colonial expansion that grew to make Australia a pastoral powerhouse, add convict labour and the gold rushes but what brought us to federation was riding on the sheep's back & the White Australia policy.

Federation defined us as a nation. Gallipoli was an Australian action of war 15 years later which, although deserving observation, by venerating it as Nation Defining denies a tapestry of history, both glorious and brutal, that produced the men that stormed the peninsula beaches.

It's almost as if Gallipo…