Will you take a few moments of your time to learn and honor a valuable piece of Australian history?
Entrepreneurship and technology that fell out of historical accounts in the 20th century, untaught and forgotten?
Did you know Aboriginal and European people built the economy of Victoria together?
Did you know there were no bridges in Victoria in the 1800’s?
Did you know Aboriginal people in Stringy bark canoes helped transport European people and goods across rivers?
Did you know many Europeans and migrants were saved by Aboriginal people?
Just recently there was an analysis of Victorian parliament that found the representation of women in parliament at a low but also that Indigenous representation out of a state population of 0.8% to a be at 0%. This example given by Victoria is not one that makes any other stand above Victoria in the recognition and sharing of power with Indigenous people. Indigenous Australians are still pushed aside like nobodies and non-contributors. The true power and say over Australia is still not shared as the “Australian” brothers and sisters we claim or are expected to walk down the street daily and say we are.
“Majority of Australians do not know their own history”
Taking note and sharing Australian history
Stringy Bark Canoes and how we built Victoria Together
Most of the times when a conversation arises on Indigenous history many Non-Indigenous Australians will jump to the conclusion of the conversation leading straight to massacres and mistreatment. Well that is part of the Australian Story, one that binds us together as Australians, and one that can not be forgotten. This however is a slighty different part of Australian History you may not have heard, and a part you were certainly not taught in our schools system growing up in Australia. A part of Australian history that has been shelved and forgotten for 100 years.
Aboriginal people managed the waterways across Australia. In Victoria there are Aboriginal made Stone Fish Traps and water ecology sites that predate Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Victorian History floats on Stringy Bark canoes across flooded rivers.
Being just one great social and economical example of Indigenous contribution in Australia’s foundation, the recent documentary ‘Seeing the land from an aboriginal canoe’ . sheds light on the history of Victoria. One of the film makers Lucinda Horrocks highlights how Indigenous people made a significant contribution to the early economy of Victoria in the 1800’s, with canoes being used as transport to help the new European arrivals.
“In a really crucial way Aboriginal people were part of the foundation and the mapping out of Victoria as we know it today” Lucinda Horrocks film maker behind Seeing the land from an Aboriginal canoe on Culture Victoria
During the arrival of Europeans and migrants to Victoria in the early 1800’s it was the Entrepreneurship of Aboriginal people who helped to build Victoria. There were no bridges built-in Victoria back then. The flooding made it hard for any straight up settlement. There would have been no Victoria as we know today without the help of Aboriginal people and their Stringy Bark canoes. Aboriginal people were your postal service, e-commerce deliverer, bus and taxi service in the 1800’s. They worked transporting all New arrivals and goods across Victoria. They helped to establish the major trade and transport system that built Victoria.
Aboriginal people guided people cattle, pets across the Murray. In one instance even a “Piano” was spoken of being ferried. Alfred Howitt conducting geological research wrote on how he depended on Aboriginal guides to build and man canoes for ferrying the exploration team across rivers.
Many of the European and Migrants arriving to Victoria did not often how to swim. Aboriginal people would ferry them in their canoes.
This is what taking note and sharing Australian History would look like. This is what One Australia looks>
Aboriginal and Non- Aboriginal Australians “share” moments in Australian history that stand out and demand a respect of how we remember the building of our country. A respect that demands many Australians to go beyond their first conclusions when hearing a conversation involving Indigenous people in Australian History.
We need you to go beyond the common “one of those aboriginal history moments, here we go again thoughts. Beyond the “ why don’t you just forget the past and get over it conversations”
It is not just an aboriginal or Indigenous history moment of Australian history, and we do not have to get over anything. We share a history together as Australians today so why don’t we start to recognize and teach that fact in our school system?
We are “Australian brothers and sisters” so why don’t we start acting liking it instead of walking past each other on the street and not inviting each other to sit at our dinner table. This history should be taught to every Australian of the future that is currently sitting in Australian school chair.
There can only be One Australia if the children know and understand their history. Teaching the kids what we were failed to be taught in school is correcting the mistakes and the only way to a bright Australian future together.
Time to re-teach the teachers!
We recognize the traditional owners and Elders of all Victorian Aboriginal groups. We write as contributors to sharing Indigenous Australian History.
If you would like to take a moment and learn a bit more of this history, you can find all the information below at Culture Victoria
Culture Victoria – https://cv.vic.gov.au/stories/aboriginal-culture/seeing-the-land-from-an-aboriginal-canoe/seeing-the-land-from-an-aboriginal-canoe/
*Cover image attribute also to Culture Victoria
*Video from Wind and Sky productions on Youtube