As an Aussie I get frustrated when I hear the comment that Australia has no culture or history. Or at the most a history that is only 200+ years old. I love history and it is a love that was engendered after I left formal education because the education system in our country focuses only on the history of the Northern Hemisphere with a smattering of English colonial thrown in… Kings, Queens and Dynasties. Something which I find I can’t relate to at all as I don’t identify with a social strata or class. I am simply Australian along with 22 million other Aussies of many creeds, colours and beliefs. Me and mine have been Aussies for hundreds of years and many generations.
I have had the opportunity to travel broadly, both within Aus and overseas and one of the most frustrating things I found in the history of places I visited in the Northern Hemisphere was that their history was so recent, barely 1,500 yrs old. Beyond that there often was zitto, now that is truly what could be termed recent. I have come to realize that when history is spoken of, people tend only to refer to the last few thousand years, totally ignoring everything beyond that, which is amazing really when you consider it. There in my dilemma lay… I don’t relate at all to what people generally consider as history.
I find history in rocks, in ancient shoals, even in trees, which bear the weight of hundreds if not thousands of years. I look at a windswept rock formation and see a remarkable history that has looked-out over the land unchanged for tens of thousands of years and I take pride that our first Australians looked after the land so well, they understood it, and loved it well. I enjoy the isolation and remote places that have born witness to millennia of man treading across his country. I examine ancient rock art closely, which is the remnant of families settled around a campfire and the entertainment they took, or the ceremonies and stories they told as they comforted and amused each other and paced through their daily lives.