In association with the Twofires Festival – CULTURES CONNECTING – Marking 200 years, & recognising 60,000 years
Local historian and author of “Braidwood Dear Braidwood” (self published 1989), the late Netta Ellis, wrote that the explorers who came to this area in late 1821 and early 1822 were William Kearns, Henry Marsh and William Packer, with an aboriginal guide.
She also wrote that in November 1821 Charles Throsby (a more famous explorer) and Hamilton Hume crossed the Shoalhaven River in search of a route to the coast.And that a few weeks later (?Dec 1821) Hume and Alexander Berry were close to the Braidwood area after following the native track from the upper reaches of the Clyde R over the Currockbilly Range.
So late in 2021 and/or early in 2022 it is timely to acknowledge a pivotal point in the history of the Braidwood region, 200 years since the first European explorers set foot on country here. No doubt they were impressed with what they saw, and their “discovery” dramatically changed the lives of all people connected to this part of the country, and as well as leading to changes in the way our land is cared for and managed.
These explorers didn’t discover anything that was not already known and cared for by tribes of the Yuin Nation, over an unfathomable period of time. The Australian History Timeline at the Braidwood Museum dates Indigenous occupation from 60,000 years ago, with references to reported evidence.
A local event is planned to recognise this 200 year anniversary. An event that invites the community of the Braidwood region to acknowledge and reflect on the history that began to unfold here 200 years ago, and to learn more about this history from all perspectives: from that of the Yuin People, custodians and carers of this country for tens of thousands of years, and from that of the early colonisers and their families, many of whom remain as current custodians and carers of the land here.
A quote from the very impressive 2020-2021 exhibition at the National Museum of Australia (NMA), Endeavour Voyage: The Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians, is pertinent:“Coming together – in this anniversary year we reflect anew on the history that began to unfold on these shores 250 years ago. We invite you to learn about this story from all perspectives and think about what it means to live in this country today.In looking honestly at our past, we have the chance to come together, to learn and share stories and views of our history, and to imagine a shared future”
And another quote from the NMA:“We need to discuss these things in a healing way, so that we can have an understanding. It’s not a racial thing or a black and white thing … it’s an Australian thing. All of us together.” (Milton Savage, Kaurareg, quoted at National Museum of Australia)
Cultures Connecting event in Braidwood will be an opportunity for our community to come together, to learn and share stories and views of our history. And to imagine a shared future where “all people and the land are respected and cared for” (Dhurga Rock, Braidwood 2015).
Initial plans were to hold the Cultures Connecting Event in Braidwood in mid-November 2021. Due to restrictive forces beyond our control, we, the CC planning committee (Sheelagh Noonan, Roger James and Julia Green) have postponed the event from November to late February 2022. Forces permitting. Cultures Connecting has support from QPRC, Braidwood Community Bank, Braidwood Community Association, Two Fires Festival, and local schools.Keep an eye out for more news, and if you’d like to discuss or have ideas, please be in touch.
Sheelagh: M 0419 609 942 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia: M 0402 605 945