Friday, May 22, 2015


Yesterday I climbed on a bus and went to Cocanarup, near Ravensthorpe. Overlooking the old farm that was worked by the Dunn brothers in the 1880s, Noongar and Wadjela held a ceremony to open the Kukenarup Memorial and Walk Trail.

This area of country has a harsh, complex and sometimes contradictory history. Many Noongar people were killed here, and all that death and the Apartheid-like 20th century legislation meant many of our families were never able to return and reconcile themselves to what had happened. Kim Scott.


  1. I thought it might have got a little more publicity. Quite quiet really. What was the mood like Sarah, and sis Kim make it?

  2. Yes it was quiet but it wasn't in quite the same context as our recent ANZAC events, when it came to encouraging visitors. About 150 people showed, from Perth, Ravensthorpe, Albany, Esperence and Kalgoorlie mostly. It was a small, personal ceremony. Quite special. Sombre. It was beautiful and sunny but a chilly wind. Kim was there. The Ravensthorpe HS put on a lovely feed and home made snacks.
    I would write more about it but not quite sure how to do the day justice, given it has taken so long for public recognition of the event.

  3. It's a difficult one I guess. No need to be dramatic or sensational about it and it's not exactly what you'd call a good news story either. I just thought it might have been weighted with a bit more coverage so that general awareness could benefit. I thought something like this would stimulate conversation, get the radio buzzing a bit with stories of the old days, but it doesn't seem to have been picked up that way.

    1. There is this:

  4. Yesterday I visited the Myall Creek site en route to Grafton to follow my great, great grandfather's 1854 journey. They have a short walk with signs and commemorate the event each year in early June (it took place 10 June 1838). It was very moving and I couldn't help but reflect that if they had continued to prosecute massacre participants (7 were hanged after Myall Creek - although some of the chief protaganists got off) maybe we would have a history we could be prouder of.
    I also often wonder what kind of country we would have now if we had come to Australia a little more politely. Perhaps sought permission from the owners to be here and accepted that they were our hosts and had their own rules that we should accept.
    Given their general affability and the fact that they would have happily accepted the benefits of European technology (Mokare loved borrowing Barker and Collies fish nets and guns as they made life easier) we could have ended up with a nation and culture that combined the best aspects of both Europeans and Australians. Would be a fantastic place I suspect. Sadly that didn't satisfy our arrogance and unfortunately there are still some of those boofheads running the place. ( Incidentally, the last entry before ours in the Visitor Book at Myall Creek was Barnaby Joyce who visited the previous day. Not drawing any conclusions. Just saying.)

  5. Thanks for those insights Crispin.