Unique History of North Arm Cove

mpicklesWed, 28/03/2012 - 10:11am

Cove residents who participated in the Koori walking tour on the 13 March found some surprising history unique to this area.  ( Koori is the name of the people, Aboriginal is the name given by the English and means native).

The tour was provided by Buudja Murrang Indigenous Cafe and Cultural Centre and 15 Cove residents joined Aaron Taylor, Bill Callaghan and Tony . Aaron who led the tour lives in the cove and works for the Worimi Land Council as a Cultural Officer and in tourism with Sand Dunes Adventures. After introductions he began with a potted history which is hard to do for a culture that is thousands of years old, the oldest bones found are 40,000 years old, the oldest fire 120,000 and the oldest art 160,000 years. We ambled up to the initiation site on top of the Cove Hill, and he explained the ceremonies that were unique to this area, and the importance of walkabout in connecting communities across the country.

Many Cove residents are aware that the Europeans arrived early into this area after the first settlement in 1827. Robert Dawson of the Australian Agricultural Company brought 200 convicts, 2000 cattle and 700 sheep to Tahlee and was greeted and assisted by the local Koories. Indeed it is unlikely they would have survived without the assistance of the locals. What followed is a dark history of massacres and legislations including the Aboriginal Protection Boards that took away Koori rights and culture, locking them up behind gates in Karuah Mission for over 150 years. There are numerous sites in the Karuah, Tahlee, Carrington area, ceremonial, hunting and gathering however many of these have not been used for over 100 years. It is now that the remnants of language and culture is being preserved through the oral traditions and training of young Koories.

Aaron described the forests and water ways as the supermarket, abundant with foods and materials for rope, baskets and medicines. However it was not all shopping, the taking of foods was managed through understanding the diversity of the plant and animal communities and the seasons. The understanding and knowledge of the bush was carefully recorded orally, and passed down through years of education.

The two hours went quickly, we shared damper and tea and the end and were given a special performance by Aaron on the Didgeridoo and a dance, and a yarn with Bill.

This was a great education for all of us. Some of the comments were “This is not only important history it is a way forward of sharing knowledge and information” “Lots of questions and misconceptions were answered”

See Events for next walk - Saturday, 14 April 2012 - 10:00am



I’m very interested in the claim by Aaron during the recent Koori walk that Aboriginal art is 160,000 years old.  My understanding is that the oldest documented art (rock art) in Australia dates to about 40,000 years ago.  Modern humans (homo sapiens) emerge about 200,000 years ago in Africa.  The earliest dates for their arrival in Australia stand around 60,000 years ago.   Can anyone shed more light on this?