Originally Posted 24 April 2014:
Three Things Relative To The Period 1834-1841: Part 2
Stirling Ranges from Mount Clarence. Photo courtesy of Red Bubble
It’s not a great picture, I know, but the view from Mount Clarence looking north offers a glimpse of two distant ranges. The nearer and smaller of the two (out of view to the left) is the Porongurups; the larger and more distant (in picture) is the Stirling Ranges. Each of the earliest visitors to Albany climbed Mount Clarence and Mount Melville and spotted the hills much as they appear above. Experienced cartographers amongst them, the newcomers would have reasoned that Oyster Harbour probably acted as catchment for ground drainage and that more than likely a series of waterways ran south from the ranges back toward King George’s Sound.
Originally Published 25 April 2014:
Albany Noongars Manyat and Gyallipert meet Yagan, leader of the Swan River Noongars, at Lake Monger, Perth, in 1833. The painting ‘Yagan’ is by the outstanding indigenous artist Julie Dowling.
It’s well known that Albany’s indigenous engaged positively with the European newcomers from the time of permanent arrival (despite the hick-up) until about 1840. During the first decade as a free settlement relations between Albany’s two races continued in the same vein as that established by Lockyer, Nind, Barker, Nakinah and Mokare. This was for two reasons. First, the person of Alexander Collie could not have been more appropriate to the period of immediate post military reign. His compassion and humanity (as with Nind and Barker) transcended his position as leading official of the new, self-appointed regime. Had it been anyone else relations will probably have deteriorated sooner. The second reason was because hardly anyone came to King George’s Sound anyway.
Originally published: 2 April 2014
A word about those early navigators …
When relating Roe’s maritime experience it’s important to talk a little about the great French and British pelagic explorers, the great navigators and cartographers of the 1700’s who charted most of the south seas and are remembered in a thousand-and-one local histories around it for ‘first sighting’, ‘first charting’, or ‘first setting foot on’, etc, etc..
First Release, 1798
One of the things you learn when you begin to discover early Australian history is that those who undertook to make it also undertook to make sure they were remembered. This applies to land based as well as maritime discoverers. They didn’t just carry out, they carried out with a note book, the relevant content of which was transferred to a day journal from which, if the expedition was a success (or even just noteworthy in a general regard), they edited into manuscript form for general publication.
There was an obvious purpose for the day journal and their pay masters demanded it. Expedition diaries and ship’s logs were extremely valuable to subsequent travellers. The information needed to be detailed and accurate in order to progress knowledge and the general exploration process, as well as to save future lives, equipment and money.
Originally Published: March/April 2014
We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. Australian Aboriginal Proverb
Albany: On King George’s
The first story in the ‘OUTDONE’ collection is called ‘Time and Place’. I called it that because I felt it placed significance on the historical nature of the stories as well as the geographic location of Albany, in a West Australian as well as global context. Much later, I discovered the two key words in the title formed part of an oft-quoted proverb (above) and that the proverb’s source, while exactly unknown, is attributed to the indigenous Australian community. That made me feel pretty good because while this first story isn’t primarily concerned with Aboriginal Australia the collection most certainly is.
Also, the proverb encapsulate’s the secondary meaning I intended the story to convey; that is, an inner sense of awareness about our time alive. Two hundred years ago geographic discovery was the thing. We live in a global digital age now, but my belief is that regardless of race and era mankind has always held an inner sense of mystery and wonder related purely and simply to existence.