The Convict Trail outa’ Sydney Town

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 11.35.51 amHistory is a wonderful thing, it provides us with a frame of reference, a background and tales of the past, ours. It is our greatest shame that our children are not taught Australian history in our schools and are instead taught mostly English maritime history.

Australian history or the deeds and challenges of the past are epic, from the trials of the native Australians to the building of our nation, including both the good, the bad and the downright distasteful.

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Oldies at Large – The Majestic Jenolan Caves

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 5.30.49 pmThey say that you should never go back, but there are some things, some places from your childhood that draw you back towards them irresistibly. At the moment The Man and I are showing one of our precious Grandies the sights of Sydney, introducing her to the joy of adventure and the wonders of the greater of the Aus. cities.

We headed out towards the mountains west of Sydney to show her something special, the area otherwise known as the Blue Mountains. They are a misty eucalypt blue at a distance from Sydney and are charming backdrop to any metropolis. Continue reading

Classic Aussie Culture in Sydney, Australia

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 5.30.49 pmExploring Sydney, where does one begin?

Sydney holds so much of what is our history, both our colonial history and the stories of our ancient culture. We’ve been showing one of our Grandies around this great city, which saw the birth of the modern Aussie culture. It was a journey from the very beginnings of the penal settlement and then on through to Sydney’s current position as one of the great cities of the world.

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Oldies at Large – Finding Yesteryear in Port Macquarie

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 5.31.38 pmWe are on R&R in Port Macquarie and one of the nicest things about the old penal settlements, those that have come into their own down the century since colonial times, is walking around the site of the old settlement and seeking out the remnant of another age. We have lost so much that is rich and rigorous of colonial times that it is heartbreaking. But here they have endeavoured to preserve their fumbling beginnings where they can, fighting in the battle against progress and commerce.

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Oldies at Large – A Road to the Past

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 7.29.04 amWe’ve been exploring the NSW hinterland up the remote regions of the Clarence Valley, part of the Great Dividing Range. There are some real gems to be found out here, both mineral and emotional. In Aus. there are some destinations where the road is the attraction, places such as The Great Ocean Road, The Daintree with the Bloomfield Track and the Nullabor which I have written about and many still to explore but I do love it when I come across roads, which are destinations in themselves.

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Freecamping – An Australian Historical Right

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.21.33 amThe history of freecamping in Australia begins back to the very first days of the young colony. When Governor Phillip chose a spot to set up camp on what was Aboriginal land, he gave birth to the nations first Freecamp. The Legality of his Freecamp is still being debated in some quarters but the argument has been lost in time and the nations history. However his right to freecamp was never revoked… until most recently by some municipal Councils.

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Freecamping Travelling Stock Routes TSR

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 8.34.10 amThe world of Travelling Stock Routes are a gem in our history and heritage. Not always listed in the freecampers bible – Camps Australia Wide -they are truly special places that we should all fight to protect and maintain. They are also an important part of the public free camping network in Australia. I love freecamping in these very special places as they usually provide sure water and when you are on the road full time freecamping, to enjoy the joys of wild places and the natural delights of our country, they truly are a wonderful public resource throughout Australia. You should also remember when camped at these locations that you must leave area’s free for the wildlife and grazing cattle to reach water as this is their primary purpose. Don’t be surprised if the camp site is suddenly overrun with a grazing mob!

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 8.32.39 amThese old routes, known today as TSR’s, are those which the cattle drovers once drove their stock along on the way to market regularly and they are still in use today. They were known and celebrated watering and resting places for the stock and they are also a touch of our history active and valued in this present day.

What perhaps many don’t realize though is that they were also often the routes taken by the old traditional Aboriginal tribal groups of another era. Places where a group would rest and enjoy the same things, these which we enjoy today. Places, often of corroboree and initiations too, places of family and gathering in times of drought and trouble. Continue reading

An Aussie Bounty – Gold and Precious Stones

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 7.06.44 amIt was as hot as blazes in SE Queensland last week and due to the wave of heat… we are talking 40C… we have upped camp and moved south into the back plateau country of Northern New South Wales. This is beautiful country, they call it the Northern Rivers country closer to the coast but where we are is the Clarence River Catchment, otherwise known as Gold Country.

The Great Dividing Range runs down the eastern seaboard of Aus. separating the coastline and the rolling plains beyond with the hinterland regions. Then westward it sweeps across the great western farming plains. The rivers that drain west from this dividing range had the adventurers and surveyors looking for an inland sea, which the Aboriginal people said was one of stone and sand. They should have believed them. Continue reading

Owning Your Past – Colonial Australia – Part 2

To read part 1 -> Mistakes – Owning Your Past

Continued … Colonial Solutions for Social Problems

StrandedOne of the few institutions of the colonial era that did address a social problem prevalent of the day was Point Puer, at Port Arthur Penal Prison. Young boys and men were seen to be in an insidious position when they arrived into the colony as convicts. Some as young as 9yrs old were exposed to the worst of social constructs, abuse and ill-use as convicts, this particularly in the penal settlement of Hobart Town where the majority of convicts were first sent. This problem of unassigned boys and how to deal with them was considerable .

Unlike the young girls who were quickly assigned for reasons addressed previously, as well as being placed into service as domestic servants, the boys were unwelcome and viewed as a drain on the penal system and so Point Puer was developed. It was no holiday for the young boys and young men but it was a improved arrangement which often gave them skills and training they badly needed. Some of these skills were of course questionable as can be seen in the wake of the bushranging era of the mid-late colonial era… many of these bushrangers were early inmates of Point Puer.

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Historical Mistakes – Owning Your Past – Part 1

Australian History, as Australians and the world is told in our society and schools is largely a fantasy… It is the construct of a self-interested class of people who have an obsession with ‘Mother England’ and who attempt to rule our society even today. Why and just what is it they want us to believe?

It was interesting to read a former Prime Ministers comments recently published, someone within the system who has had the chance to consider all the flaws evident in the machinery of our Government which was formed under English rule.

So what is it that can be considered corrupted in our historical account? Read on…

  1. Captain Cook discovered Australia : Reality = Lieutenant Cook mapped the east coast for the British Admiralty.
  2. Australia was terra nullis : Reality = Australia the continent/island supported a large, stable and well established tribal based society that not only prospered but traded widely.
  3. Australia was colonized by the English : Reality = The English shipped out approx. 160,000 convicts and vast numbers of emigrants sourced from European, Irish & Scottish countries along with others.
  4. Colonization of Australia was ordered and peaceful : Reality = Colonization was haphazard and led largely by squatters. In Northern NSW & Queensland it was anything but peaceful.

Yes there is a great deal that has been corrupted … and you can add to this very incomplete list other aspects of our history in relationship with native Aussies which has been also adulterated by those with agenda’s all their own…

  1. The white colonists murdered thousands of natives : Reality = The Aboriginal Native Police, under the control of the Government massacred thousands of tribal Aboriginal people along the frontier to gain control of the land.
  2. Whiteman murdered and decimated the Aboriginal tribes when they arrived in Aus : Reality = disease from which there was no immunity in the indigenous population decimated the indigenous population in the early years of colonization. The penal settlements were under orders from the Governor to treat the natives well, (not everyone listened as usual) actually they had trouble finding natives initially and resorted to kidnapping them in an attempt to learn from them. ie.. Bennelong, Colby etc
  3. Explorers opened up the Inland and led the way for expansion throughout the continent : Reality =  Adventurers who claimed to have discovered and opened up the inland, were taken there by Aboriginal guides, mostly using often well established tracks and depended on the natives and often squatters for their survival and comfort. These guides were not always treated well though some did receive recognition from the adventurers (explorers).

The list goes on, and still the fallacies perpetuate. Continue reading