Panel on Urban Aboriginal Camps

Panel on Urban Aboriginal Camps

One of the more notable events during the recent AHA Conference in Toowoomba (8th-12th July) was a panel on the neglected history of urban Aboriginal camps. The concept – Aboriginal Cities – was developed by Dr Paul Irish (Coast History & Heritage, Sydney), working with fellow historians Dr Denise Cook (Deakin University, based in Perth) and Dr Ray Kerkhove (a former HGRC Fellow, now UQ, Brisbane). All three had written books on this topic concerning their respective cities. The presentation was given in collaboration with representatives from the respective Aboriginal communities (Michael Ingrey for Sydney; Lynnette Coomer for Perth and Deborah Sandy for Brisbane). Thus it offered both an academic and lived perspective. Paul Irish and Michael Ingrey spoke about the ways that Aboriginal people in Sydney adapted to the expanding colony on their doorstep, finding new ways to live while retaining their cultural connections. Michael spoke of his ancestor’s connections, highlighting the way that knowledge of the historical Sydney camps has been kept alive in the community. Denise Cook highlighted the significance of the camps in the shared history of Perth’s suburbs until at least the 1950s, the importance for historians in following Aboriginal cultural protocols, and the value of shared story-telling. Lynnette Coomer spoke of her memories of living with her extended family in the Shenton Park camps as a child in the 1950s, including getting water, collecting flowers with her grandmother to sell, and going to the local primary school. Deborah Sandy spoke about the importance of particular camps in Brisbane, and her daughter Rheanne Sandy presented for Ray Kerkhove (who could not be there). Ray’s paper focused on the evidence for Brisbane’s green spaces evolving from traditional campsites, and the historical impact of these sites well into recent times.

Latest news and events

Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying

February 10th, 2021
A visit to the Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying is well worthwhile. Located at 317 Edward Street, Brisbane the museum collects and exhibits material relating to the surveying of Queensland and the maps created. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 4 pm and is closed on public holidays. Admission […] Read more

Honora Bagnall biography

January 18th, 2021
Honora Bagnall, nee Geary, was born around 1809 in Connough, Galway, Ireland. Under a sentence of seven years transportation to NSW for stealing three pigs. She arrived in Sydney on 27 September 1831. Honara married William Bagnall on 11 May 1835 and on 19 Oct 1835 she was sentenced to 5 years transportation to Moreton […] Read more

John Domville Taylor and the early days on the Downs

January 5th, 2021
Listen to Visiting Fellow Timothy Roberts’ talk on ‘John Domville Taylor and the early days on the Downs’, given at the Royal Historical Society of Queensland in December 2020, via this link. Read more

Webinar: Family history and the future of co-production and collaboration

December 4th, 2020
Join Associate Professor Tanya Evans and a range of scholars who have worked on family histories or with family historians, to hear about their research and its impact. This free webinar on 17 Dec 2020, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, is presented by the Macquarie University Centre for Applied History. To register for this event […] Read more

Commissioner of Crown Lands, Arthur Edward Halloran

December 2nd, 2020
Arthur Edward Halloran emigrated to NSW from England in 1828. He was appointed as Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Wide Bay District in 1853 and later became Commissioner of Crown Lands for the combined Wide Bay and Burnett District. His official correspondence reveals that he was a diligent administrator fulfilling his many responsibilities both […] Read more