Showing posts from April, 2013

A fight to the death at the Queanbeyan Showground

This is a repost from Dave Wheeler's blog and once again requesting any local knowledge of the points raised...

It was sometime in the 1960’s my grandmother, the late Vera Guard, told me about a fight to the death between two Aboriginal warriors during the 19th century in an area of land which eventually became the Queanbeyan showground.

I had forgotten about it, but was inspired to get as much information as possible on the subject after visiting Dave Reid’s blog, in which he has collected a large amount of literature and references to literature regarding Canberra’s early indigenous post contact history, including a reference to the duel I have referred to.

Pictured above is my long departed grandmother, the late Vera Guard, in 1975. She was born in 1895 and lived in Queanbeyan from the early 1920’s to 1939, prior to moving to Ainslie. She was a great talker with a keen interest in history who would readily chat to anyone. When she was a young and newly married Queanbeyan…

Canberra Aboriginal War Memorial

Tomorrow is Anzac Day. Today there were calls to establish an Aboriginal War Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra. I first stumbled on the Current unofficial memorial about 5 years ago. It resides on the slopes of Mount Ainslie a short distance up walking trails from the Australian War Memorial.
I highly recommend watching the 2 minute video in the news article below.
"Renewed calls for national Indigenous war memorial" ABC News
This is the current memorial that appeared after being constructed by a couple of nearby residents apparently 15 years ago. It is only known to a handful... I think for a national capital we can do better.

Canberra Eastern grey kangaroo documentary

I came across this series of three videos documenting a study into the Eastern Grey Kangaroo in Canberra. The study tracked a number of Kangaroos collecting data of their movements from the city's hills into the suburbs to graze at night. It also raises the issue of Kangaroo management, such as the high car accident rate,  the annual Canberra cull and the results & the conclusions from the study's data. Very well put together and very informative from a Canberra perspective.

Bimberi Peak

Bimberi Peak or Mount Bimberi at 1912 the highest mountain in the Australian Capital Territory.  Located on the border between New South Wales and the ACT, the NSW portion is in Kosciuszko National Park and the ACT portion is in Namadgi National Park. Access is via bushwalking trails but there is no marked trail to the summit.

This recent short video by John Evans of the Canberra Bushwalking Group shows a 360 degree view with commentary from the summit...

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Botanic Gardens expedition into Tinderry ranges

Another documentary by Canberra filmmaker Richard Snashall...

"A team of botanists climb high into the Tinderry Nature Reserve ranges, south east of Canberra, in search of a threatened plant species - and find plenty of distractions along the way! The expedition was organised by the Australian National Botanic Gardens and this story was produced for ABC Television's 7.30 Program, Canberra."


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Hunting in Brindabella National Park

Probably timely to remind Canberran's who use Brindabella National Park that extra vigilance is now required before planning any excursions, particularly those over 2 days in duration. It also interests me that the reality of this political decision is finally hitting home to people...
Fears for public safety over short-notice hunting

Seasoned shooter joins opposition to hunting in state national parks

(Interestingly this shooter was recently charged with illegal hunting and discovered having gut shot a goat... it is also worth mentioning he is also a member of the Game Council, the body charged with overseeing the National Park hunts.)

Read more:

National Park users worried about being shot by stray bullets from hunters…

An old time tribal battle

I am interested in the outcome of this debate because of research I have done over the past few years into the Aboriginal heritage of the ACT. It will confirm research or put it in disarray… officially.

Who are the traditional owners of Canberra? I suppose it is the elephant in the room that everyone ignores.  In a nutshell, as far as I can work out, the Ngunnawal are the acknowledged owners based on Tindal's language group mapping. But two other groups dispute this.

The Ngambri from here 
and the Ngarigu of the Monaro.

Recent FOI has discovered a recent in-confidence report by Anthropologist Dr. Natalie Kwok that failed to resolve the issue… Canberra Times article.

An old time tribal battle between the Monaro tribe & Piallago tribe. Recounted in 1919 by a man with memories of tribal battles in the 1830’s

Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer (NSW : 1915 - 1927), Friday 21 M…

Strange Namadgi recordings

A few friends and I are in the habit of setting out Sony note-taker audio recorders in an attempt to record wildlife sounds. It can be a worthwhile experience capturing the like of Lyrebirds mimicking in choruses of Kookaburra, Currawong and other birds song.

The little Sony recorders run for 5 days on continuous record in high quality mode on 2 AAA lithium batteries. I suspect it is nearly CD quality. That is a lot of recordings usually... About 8 gigabyte. Reviewing 120 hours of sound is simplified by viewing the wave forms of each 6 hour file in an audio editor. Sound stands out and things like overhead passing planes are easily identified. Hopefully, with my mates permission, I will publish his latest Lyrebird recording. It runs for 4 minutes and mimics a host of birds.

Another friend recorded a rare Barking owl in Brindabella National Park with a barking call when distressed that escalates into what has been described as a woman's scream. It was interesting to note that he a…

Embassies on Stirling Park

I'm not a Yarralumla resident but I have been following the issue of Westlake for several years. I will be interested in the decision ... will it stay an open space for local residents or fulfill its purpose in a diplomatic district? Westlake could probably be described as Canberra's first suburb.

That is until 1965 when it was dismantled and nearly all traces removed. Westlake is now basically a large area of open space in the diplomatic suburb of Yarralumla, bordered by a small western ridge and vacant since 1965. The area has now been mooted for an additional nine embassies. Changing World I suppose.

The residents of Yarralumla are opposed... March 28, 2013

And a decision is due 'soon' by Territories Minister Catherine King... April 4, 2013

Everything you would want to know ab…

The history of Yvonne in Queanbeyan

Yvonne in Queanbeyan is a 5 bedroom house located at 75 Campbell Street and was built in 1908 for Mrs Johnston as a family home. Two years later she registered the building as a lying-in birthing hospital. It was not till several decades later that Canberra and Queanbeyan opened Maternity Wards. The following video is a very good production discussing the rich history of the building...

I would have thought this a rare thing. A little birdy tweeted me yesterday and told me that the historic property has been offered for sale. Seems to me a wonderful opportunity to own a grand residence in the bustling City of Queanbeyan.

For those interested Peter Blackshaw is the Agent

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Tidbinbilla, Corroboree frogs, flowers & fauna

On a visit today I was pleased to see one of the Northern Corroboree frog perched high on it's sphagnum moss home.Only the size of my thumbnail it stood out brightly with its deep yellow markings highlighted on black...

The Corroboree frog comes in two flavours a Northern & Southern species. Until a few years ago at least I could show you the Northern as the last I saw was at Micalong swamp west of Brindabella Valley.

I have never seen a Southern Corroboree frog and there are efforts being made to ensure its survival.
"The Royal Bluebell was announced as the floral emblem of the Australian Capital Territory on 26 May 1982 by the Hon. Michael Hodgman, the Minister for the Capital Territory."

One of the flowers captured today whilst showing friends around Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. I thought it rather late in summer but several other species were flowering also...

I have photographed some of the displays before but every time sees a …