Taylor, R, Lubra Creek, Words for Country: Landscape and Language in Australia, UNSW Press, T Bonyhady and T Griffiths (ed), Sydney, pp. 14-30. ISBN 0868406287 (2002) [Research Book Chapter]
Copyright 2002 Tim Bonyhady and Tom Griffiths
Official URL: https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/words-for-c...
I know this land. I can shut my eyes and see it – walk across it in my mind and trace each hill, gully and creek. I can smell it, the salty breeze stirring the dry summer grass, the sweet wool in the sheep shed mixing with the sour dung dumped annually under the boards. I can hear it, the sheep calling, the waves crashing against the rocks, the dogs barking maniacally in the yards.
This is not the place where I was born. Nor was it ever my home. Antechamber Bay, Kangaroo Island, is where I spent my summer holidays as a child.
I was youngest of three children born in London to a north-England father and a Dutch mother. We came to Adelaide when I was five, moved to Melbourne when I was eighteen and I now live in Canberra. My family has never lived in a place to which we implicitly belong – where we are grounded by our history.
Any sense of belonging we have with this country has been learned. It seems only those in this country with colonial ancestry are non-reflexive about their identity and can assume a place on stolen land while the dispossessed fight for it.
Kangaroo Island seems to be an exception. There were no indigenous people when the first settlers took up land; Aboriginal people had not lived there for thousands of years. Today the Kangaroo Islanders are a close community of people who feel they belong to the land as much as the land belongs to them. The land is full of the memories of their collective past.
|Item Type:||Research Book Chapter|
|Keywords:||Tasmania, history, Aboriginal memory, land|
|Research Division:||Indigenous Studies|
|Research Group:||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history|
|Research Field:||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history|
|Objective Division:||Culture and Society|
|Objective Group:||Understanding past societies|
|Objective Field:||Understanding Australia's past|
|UTAS Author:||Taylor, R (Dr Rebe Taylor)|
|Deposited By:||College Office - CALE|
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