Tracing the Metaphors of Settler Amnesia
In memory of those who watch and wait
Settler societies are inherently unable to reconcile themselves with their beginnings. The settler praxis is defined by endless acts of self-affirming replication and cost-cutting forgetfulness. In the metropole, memorials to empire builders are, of late, battle grounds of memory fought in the press and academe. On the old frontiers the waves of these controversies are only ripples. In the shadowy nave of the old St John’s church at Wilberforce there is an obscure and nameless memorial window that illuminates the inherent flaws in the settler narrative. The window was donated by John Fleming, who shared not just a common name with John the Evangelist but also, in the 27th, a common feast day and birthday. John was the youngest disciple and the only one not to die violently.
Fleming was the youngest grandson of an old revolutionary war soldier and the only one of the 12 participants in the Myall Creek Massacre not to have been arrested. Knowing the history of the window, my first glimpse of it brought disappointment and puzzlement. It was not until I realised the significance of the dragon in the chalice that the symbols in the window fell into place. Celebrating the apocryphal triumph of St John over the pagan priest of Diana’s temple at Ephesus, Flemings’ window is a defiant apologia for the Myall Creek Massacre. It made me think of Nietzsche’s view of the perversity of the memorial: ‘they honoured something in themselves when they honoured the saint’. Another window, based on Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World, looks across to St John. Jesus knocks on an overgrown handle-less door that can only be opened from the inside. Conscience is the spectral pressure of the past on the Lethe of the settler mind.
Memorial windows of St John and Jesus at St John’s Anglian Church, Wilberforce
Most of my life has been spent within a few hours walk of the Hawkesbury–Nepean River. Growing up I spent much time walking the bush and creeks. When the Yuri men revealed themselves to me they knew more about me than I did. When I retired from a career in Aboriginal education there was a degree of inevitability in my decision to research the Hawkesbury’s frontier war. It was not long before I realised that the ‘facts’ were almost all written by opportunistic self-made men thwarted by birth and class from realising their ambitions in Britain. Their records were characterised by self-interest, silences, omissions, obfuscation, denial and blame-shifting. Only a handful of documents written by women survive. Only one source was written by an Aboriginal person. The primary sources were thus inherently unbalanced. Nietzsche again, the mind is immersed in illusions, ‘hostile towards truths which may be harmful and destructive’. The obvious limitations of the sources led my work into a more philosophical exploration of the representations of truth, reality and morality in the settler records, and the myths that sustained them. ‘Truth’, as Terry Eagleton wrote, ‘cannot be the private property of individuals, a prey to their whims and wiles.’
Freud showed that historic time is chronological and while a material truth can be forensically defined, time in psycho-analysis is blended and repetitive. If ‘historical truth’ is a grain of truth running across time, repressed or suppressed but ever-returning, then focusing on isolated incidents without contextualisation is simplistic, replacing ongoing historical research and revisionism with closure and memorialisation. Primary and secondary sources fuse; and observers, to paraphrase Eagleton, are unable to remember and unable to do anything else, participants in a blur of nostalgia and amnesia, perpetuating triumphant myths to the exclusion of any other voices.This essay makes no attempt to catch the true picture of the past as it whizzes by, rather it draws upon Patrick Wolfe’s thesis that invasion is ‘a structure rather than an event … a logic that initially informed frontier killing transmutes into different modalities, discourses and institutional formations as it undergirds the historical development and complexification of settler society’, and explores Walter Benjamin’s claim that ‘There has never been a document of culture, which is not simultaneously one of barbarism. And just as it is itself not free from barbarism, neither is it free from the process of transmission, in which it falls from one set of hands into another.’
With the realisation that texts which are consciously and unconsciously value laden cannot be read in isolation, I explored whether events as they are recorded occur in a linear sequence or in cycles; and whether tradition and heritage are concepts or organic structures, shaping not just the present but also the future. This in turn flowed into a study of the structure of memory, how memories are recalled, transmitted, memorialised, lost, repressed or suppressed.
Marx thought recurrence in history was the way in which revolutionary figures drape themselves in the costumes of the past to legitimate themselves. Whereas for Heidegger, tradition, ‘whether it be understood in the sense of concealment, being buried over, or distortion’, covers the past and makes the original well-springs inaccessible. ‘Indeed, it makes us wholly incapable of even understanding that such a return is necessary.’ Walter Benjamin similarly argued that those who currently rule are the heirs of all those who have ever been victorious, marching triumphantly over those sprawled underfoot.
Settler amnesia essentialises the past through tradition and heritage—the dark materials of sovereignty and land owner-ship—it seeks the elimination of the dialectic, the end of history. It constantly strives to close the abyss; but only for the victors, not for the vanquished. Derrida asked, ‘Is it possible that the antonym of “forgetting” is not “remembering”, but justice?’ In coining the term ‘hauntology’, that is, the idea of the invisible that was before and is to come, Derrida urged us to let the ghosts speak: ‘they are always there, spectres, even if they do not exist, even if they are no longer, even if they are not yet.’
This essay is not just about the spectres, the Aboriginal and settler ghosts still bound to land and water by settler forgetfulness; it also contrasts the constant shedding, modification and transformation of settler memory and the immanence of the overlapping tides of past, present and future that make up the Dreaming and come through revelation. This is not a contrapuntal story.
Because of the cataclysmic nature of settlement I don’t embrace the Hegelian concept of history as progress. My work has more sympathy with Walter Benjamin’s concept of a horror-struck angel of history driven into the future by a storm blowing from Paradise, looking back at an ever-increasing pile of rubble called progress. Perforce it is constructed with the master’s tools. From a Western perspective it probably sits as structural antagonism within Jameson’s third horizon. From an Enlightenment perspective the settlement of New South Wales was a pioneering example of state intervention in social reform. Lenin would probably have seen the settlement as an early ‘monopolist possession’.
The Hawkesbury frontier originally replicated a closely settled yeomanry landscape. However, recurring drought and inappropriate farming methods, combined with the insatiable hunger of British industry and empire, saw successive generations of Hawkesbury families found pastoral empires on an ever-expanding frontier. Frederick Jameson’s concept of ‘a single vast unfinished plot’ provides a frame to view the settlement of the Hawkesbury within an ever-accelerating Anthropocene. The global economy and global warming are connected waves of this colonial continuum, not unrelated and external events.
Jacques Derrida’s critique of the ethnocentrism of ‘writing reined in by metaphor, metaphysics, and theology’ shows that even where there are few material facts established in time and space, a close reading of historical texts in their cultural contexts reveals what remained unsaid, unrealised and forgotten.
When Cook and Banks came to these shores in 1770, they viewed the world through the lens of monogenesis, that is, one Creation, that Adam was cursed to till the land, that Cain and Abel were the first farmers and shepherds, and that Noah’s three sons peopled Europe, Asia and Africa. Reason and empirical methodology demonstrated, through the Classical Great Chain of Being, that civilisation had developed through savagery, barbarism, herding, farming, commerce and industry and that England was a ‘polished nation’, at the very peak of civilisation.
In seizing Australia, the British ignored Grotius’s distinction between the rights of lordship and the property rights of the people. A close reading of the Endeavour journals reveals the view that Aboriginal people either did not belong to the rest of humanity, or were so lowly that Cook could disregard his orders to negotiate the annexation of land. Banks placed Aboriginal people outside God’s creation with his observation that ‘naked as ever our general father was before his fall, they seemed no more conscious of their nakedness than if they had not been the children of Parents who eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge’.
In responding to a question in the House of Commons as to whether there was a need for ‘cession or purchase’ for a convict settlement in 1785, Banks sealed the fate of a people with the reply that Aboriginal people ‘would speedily abandon the country to the newcomers’.
King George III’s superficially benevolent instruction to Governor Phillip ‘to open an Intercourse with the Natives and to conciliate their affections’ and to punish anyone who should ‘wantonly destroy them, or give them any unnecessary Interruption in the exercise of their several occupation’ invoked the old law of usufruct from Leviticus 19:9–10, where the gleanings of the harvest were to be left for the poor. As disempowered British subjects, Aboriginal resistance became a criminal matter.
Psalm 116:12, the subject of the Reverend Johnson’s first sermon on Australian soil, is one of several giving thanks to God for deliverance from the Egyptian yoke, the humbling of the heathen and the dominion of Israel. Johnson’s metaphor of the Promised Land was used recurringly to demonstrate continuity with the Old Testament settlers. Ebenezer was named by nonconformist settlers after the site of two battles between the Israelites and the Philistines. The Reverend Samuel Marsden called his South Creek property Mamre, from where Abraham received a divine visitation; referred to the western plains as the ‘Land of Goshen’; and in the 1830s preached that ‘Abraham was a squatter on Government ground’.
On 25 June 1789 Governor Phillip and Captain Tench stood on Prospect Hill, contemplating the possibility of Nile-like floodplains to the west. Phillip left to take the Sirius’s boats into the Hawkesbury as far as Richmond Hill, where he found suitable farming ground and began a process of elimination, inscribing the landscape with names of the rich and powerful: Carmarthen, Hawkesbury, Lansdowne and Nepean. Others added Castlereagh, Cornwallis, Nelson, Pitt, Portland, Sackville and Wilberforce. Phillip imposed the cartography of the Thames Valley upon the Hawkesbury by naming Richmond Hill and the Green Hills for their supposed similarities. Others added Enfield, Ham Common, Windsor and The Terrace.
On 26 June Tench set out to ascertain the ‘existence of a river’ reportedly to the west. He paused on Prospect Hill: surveying ‘the wild abyss; pondering our voyage … Before us lay the trackless immeasurable desert, in awful silence.’ This complex metaphor is a sardonic projection of an imperial vision on a landscape supposedly devoid of Aboriginal people, drawn from Milton’s Satan, the first coloniser, pondering his voyage across the Abyss to seduce Adam and Eve. Tench’s invocation of silence anticipated that smallpox had gone before him. This assumption is confirmed by his surprise at finding recently constructed traps on the banks of the Nepean. Curiously, Watkin Tench was the only contemporary to publicly consider the possibility that the British may have been responsible for the smallpox outbreak in April 1789. Even more curious is the structural similarity of his denial with Swift’s defence of British colonial practice in Gulliver’s Travels. Tench’s ‘awful silence’ was a trope that would be used over and over in Australian writing.
Smallpox killed Aboriginal people on the Sydney Plain before contact was made. Tuberculosis, influenza, measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever and gonorrhoea followed. We do not know how many Aboriginal people were killed by disease, nor the impact of these losses upon Aboriginal capacity to resist invasion.
Food scarcities in Sydney led to the settlement of the Hawkesbury in 1794. Settlement quickly moved upstream and downstream and then into the hinterland. There was a correlation between drought, the expansion of settlement and fighting. The settler response to drought, overstocked pastures or failing soil fertility was to seek more land. There were droughts and conflict in 1795, 1797–99, 1803–05, 1812–16 and 1824–25. Warriors from widely scattered areas fought in combination against settlers on the Hawkesbury, across the Sydney Plain, over the Blue Mountains and into the Hunter.
The complexities of the Hawkesbury’s frontier war have been largely lost from settler memory. Whether Aboriginal people stripped settler corn out of hunger or as an act of war cannot now be determined. On the scattered and isolated river farms some Aboriginal and settler families lived together, probably for mutual protection. Some settlers had consensual sexual relations with Aboriginal women. Some settlers forcibly took Aboriginal women and children. At least four Hawkesbury settlers were killed because of their treatment of Aboriginal women. Some convict runaways lived with Aboriginal people. Some settlers terrorised or abused Aboriginal people and suffered the consequences. Aboriginal violence was measured, beginning with warnings, followed by beatings, plundering of property and eventually spearing. Acts of kindness were often remembered by Aboriginal people. A convict farm-hand was allowed to leave in an attack on a farm by 150 warriors.
Fear was probably a cause of settler aggression. Attacks on Aboriginal people tended to be at night, guided by a hostage. A volley was fired into a sleeping camp followed by a rush and slaughter of the survivors. At least twice, in 1795 and 1825, the attacks were upon friendly camps. In the reports of the 1804–05 fighting, farms were relocated, a non-existent river was invented and Aboriginal people misidentified to preserve the fiction that the upper Hawkesbury was peaceful.
On several occasions in 1790, 1795, 1805 and twice in 1816 martial law was proclaimed. Years later, the attorney-general, Saxe Bannister, correctly recognised that soldiers could not ‘be indemnified in certain possible cases of mistake, without martial law being proclaimed’.
Trove, as its name suggests, changed the nature of the archive. Were it not for their digitisation and placement on Trove, William Cox’s reports of his 1816 punitive expeditions would still be lying quietly in the Dixson Library. No mention was made by Macquarie in his despatches to London of Cox’s activities. William Cox, landowner, magistrate and commander of the Windsor Garrison, organised punitive expeditions along the Nepean–Hawkesbury River in which he reported the killings of four Aboriginal men. Silence then descended upon the Hawkesbury, effectively ending its frontier war.
A compilation of casualties from the available official and semi-official sources such as the Sydney Gazette, the governors’ despatches and various reports suggests that approximately 30 to 35 settlers were killed, one drowned following the sacking of his farm and 12 were wounded. One soldier drowned while on active service. Approximately 44 Aboriginal people were killed and about ten were wounded. Either this is hardly the stuff of a frontier war, or the primary sources cannot be trusted. A close reading of Macquarie’s rewards for 1816 indicates there was a war that was not reported as such to London. Among various rewards and land grants, Governor Macquarie made a payment to Cox for his expenses in the ‘recent warfare’.
On the banks of the Hawkesbury River a large bas-relief memorialises the first 22 settlers. The settler and his wife gaze over the river to the Blue Mountains. The call of the Promised Land pulls the wife’s skirt westward. Perhaps the little girl with her back to the frontier is a portent of an unfolding tragedy.
Settler memorial on the banks of the Hawkesbury River
By the 1820s poor farming methods, pests, disease, floods, drought and soil exhaustion pushed the frontier over the Blue Mountains. The Hawkesbury’s frontier war came to an end in October 1825 with the dispersal of the camp of a ‘friendly tribe’ near Putty.
Hawkesbury settler families moved with the frontier and were involved in the resultant warfare with Aboriginal people. During the 1838 drought William and George Faithfull’s stockmen were killed in the Broken River massacre near Benalla: and John Fleming led the Myall Creek Massacre. Six of his 11 stockmen worked for well-known Hawkesbury families.
As settlers removed an Aboriginal presence from the Hawkesbury they also imposed their own racial identity. Tuck and Wang, drawing upon the research of Mawhinney, Fellows and Razak, describe this as ‘settler adoption fantasies’: ‘Settler fantasies of adoption alleviate the anxiety of settler un-belonging.’ ‘Hawkesbury Natives’ and ‘Cornstalks’ first appeared in an 1832 letter from ‘Corn Stalk Cottage, Windsor’. Improved diet and sunshine increased fertility and produced larger and healthier babies. Toby Ryan recalled, in the past tense, the Cornstalks as ‘immense men standing from six to six feet four inches high, from fifteen to seventeen stone in weight, without any superfluous flesh’. The Cornstalks shrunk away by century’s end as settlers moved off the farms and into town. The ‘Hawkesbury Natives’ were buried in the 1950s obituaries.
The Reverend Thomas Malthus’s 1803 metaphor of ‘Nature’ as God’s handmaiden cleaning up the detritus was a model for many romantic evocations of Aboriginal people melting away before the march of civilisation. The missionary Lancelot Threlkeld returned to Genesis in 1857 when he wrote that: ‘The Aborigines of this colony are fast passing away from this stage of existence … The Sons of Japhet are being enlarged and caused to dwell in the tents of Shem.’
Charles Darwin swept ‘Nature’ from her pedestal and replaced her with the random machine of natural selection. He appeared unaware of any contraction in predicting that ‘At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.’ In 1904 Charles White added amnesia to the structural metaphor of civilisation: ‘The aborigines as a race have been practically civilized off the face of the earth which was their inheritance, and those who occupy the land once theirs are like to forget that ever a black man lived upon the soil.’
Even before the river was crossed by a railway bridge at Broken Bay, the Hawkesbury was a somnolent backwater, sanitised by heritage and tradition, dreaming of a genteel but egalitarian past. Andrew Garran’s Picturesque Atlas of Australia, published in the centenary year of 1888, glowingly reminisced on the antiquity of Windsor. The Hawkesbury frontier had faded into memory within a century.
Kali Myers’ observation that the Heidelberg School completed the removal of Aboriginal people from the imagined and represented landscape is also true of the plein-air painters who travelled by train to the Hawkesbury to paint nostalgic works in the 1890s. Few Federation Australians would have been troubled by David Henry Souter’s 1899 autumnal vision of the Hawkesbury inspired by Keats’ ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’. They saw themselves as both Australian and British—a manifestation of a national identity that has quietly disappeared from all but the most conservative settler memories.
The anonymous Memoirs of William Cox, published in 1901, was probably written by one of the female members of the family. Its elegiac evocation of tradition and dynasty in the final chapter is an archetypal settler discourse. Describing the Hawkesbury as ‘old and sleepy … The fevered life of modern days has gone over the ranges … leaving Windsor to sleep and dream’, the author further distanced the past, reinforced the continuity of English tradition and heritage, ignored the role of the emancipists in settling the Hawkesbury, and shrouded the nightmares and horrors of settlement.
Annual events such as the Queen’s Birthday, when Aboriginal people came in from the Sackville Aborigines Reserve for their blankets, gave the editor of the Windsor and Richmond Gazette the opportunity to predict that soon ‘rum and “civilization” will have cleared this district of the few genuine aboriginals who remain’. It can be extrapolated from this, and other similar comments, that Aboriginal people of mixed descent did not exist in settler consciousness.
Despite the indifference of settler memory, a few old men around the time of Federation reached back into the memories of fireside stories to tell another side of past events. If one believes that material facts are fixed in time and space, their meandering recollections can be dismissed as the mutterings of old men. However, if one sees the horror of their stories as part of a continuum that refuses to go away, then their tales become part of a historical truth. We know from them that at least three of the Aboriginal men William Cox reported ‘killed’ were captured and then illegally hung. From Prosper Tuckerman we know that possibly 400 Aboriginal people were killed in the 1816 punitive expeditions.
The graphic detail in Toby Ryan’s tale of a massacre near Shaws Creek on the Nepean, of an Aboriginal mother, carrying her child, being shot from a tree that she had climbed in terror, has several parallels. Prosper Tuckerman recalled his father saving an Aboriginal man from being shot in similar circumstances and Lancelot Threlkeld wrote of a man in Hobart who ‘boasted of shooting Blacks like birds off the branches of trees on which they had climbed for refuge’. After the mother was shot her infant was brained on the logic that ‘nits would come to lice’; a phrase that traces back to Oliver Cromwell’s clearing of Ireland.
The reminiscences of these old men allow us to re-evaluate the casualties of the Hawkesbury’s frontier war, suggesting a minimum of 470 Aboriginal deaths. When one considers the silence surrounding the 1805 killings the number could be as high as 1000.
In the early years of the twentieth century, several men, none of whom were born in the Hawkesbury, reshaped settler memory in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette. J.H.M. Abbott wrongly claimed that the free settlers of the Hawkesbury were the original Cornstalks. ‘The first of the free settlers who commenced the march westwards “squatted” there, and owned the land by right of occupation.’ Ticket of leave convicts were the first settlers on the Hawkesbury and all the early settlers had land grants. It was not only Aboriginal people who were being swept away.
The metaphor of ‘heritage’ came in turn to replace ‘civilisation’ as the vessel of settler memory after the First World War, manifesting itself in nostalgic genealogies and histories. The 1927 address of John Alexander Ferguson, procurator of the Presbyterian Church, at the 118th anniversary celebrations of Ebenezer church, is an example of the cognitive dissonance of settler memory. Despite identifying Aboriginal people as ‘a war-like and treacherous people’, there was an inevitability in Ferguson’s claim that ‘no section of our early heroes did more for Australia than those, who, by their peaceful penetration of this country, developed its latent wealth, and by the efforts of themselves and their descendants raised Australia to its present proud position’. The final dissonance may be found in the soft drink and sweet stall, the proceeds from which went ‘to help increase the funds of the Australian Inland Mission’.
Perhaps not unexpectedly it is only through the words of women such as Isabell Ramsay, Margaret Catchpole, Mary Gilmore and Judith Wright that we get a sense of the ever-present fear in settler attitudes towards Aboriginal people. Implicit in their rationalisations was the common knowledge that the blacks had to go and that one way or another they were responsible for their fate.
The anonymous author of Memoirs of William Cox spelt out in no uncertain terms for the benefit of the ‘hypercritical’ that the settlers ‘were men whom we, their descendants … owe a debt of gratitude for all they have done for us’.
Mary Gilmore, descendant of a pioneering Nepean family, justified the elimination of Aboriginal people through fear of their getting guns. ‘So the poor black had to die before … women had to be shut in a room fearing the firing of a roof, fearing the failure of their men’s limited ammunition.’ Victimhood was arrogated by settler women.
While Judith Wright’s family were not Hawkesbury settlers, in The Generation of Men she argued that settler self-forgiveness was predicated upon the total extermination of Aboriginal people. Despite her convoluted manner, there is a prescient recognition that ghosts would perhaps ‘remain forever at the root of this country, making every achievement empty and every struggle vain’.
Nostalgia still permeates the Hawkesbury. We’re not into anti-authoritarian Ned Kelly stickers on the backs of our utes, but we like flag poles, old cars and antique farm machinery in our front yards. Centenaries, sesquicentenaries and bicentenaries of settlement—but not dispossession—recur regularly. Governor Macquarie’s statue facing Greenway’s 200-year-old St Matthews church commemorating the laying out of Windsor in 1810 is a mnemonic, a touchstone of heritage and tradition, affirming a larger Australian narrative of fulfilment. Macquarie’s pondering of a blank map, a terra nullius, a tabula rasa, is possibly the ultimate expression of settler amnesia.
At the local level the appropriation of the Aboriginal flag and Aboriginal slogans in the 2017 attack upon Macquarie’s statue placed the burden of accountability on us, the local Aboriginal community. That the attack was part of an ongoing global literary, political and cultural struggle against globalisation escaped the attention of most locals who were incensed by the vandalising of ‘their’ Macquarie. Somewhat ironically the pressures of an ever-expanding metropolis will entomb the vestiges of settler memory in such memorials.
The shape-changing, identity-concealing metaphor constantly pursuing the frontier, constantly invoking the past, constantly running from it is the cyclical flight of settler conscience. Nietzsche posited Christian conscience within the morality of the herd. ‘The more unfreely one acted, the more the herd instinct and not the sense of self spoke through the action, the more moral one considered oneself.’ Acts of conscience by individuals who refused to be complicit in conspiracies of silence have left us records of events that otherwise would remain hidden. Unfortunately, few remember Mary Archer, who reported the murders of Little Jemmy and Little George in 1799; William Hobbs, who reported the Myall Creek Massacre in 1838; Edward Hyland, a Richmond landholder and William Johnston, a Pitt Town blacksmith, both of whom served on the jury of the second Myall Creek murder trial. Despite their names being largely forgotten, they are the light on the hill in the settler narrative; they prompt the question, whose voices do we hear from the past and why?
The realities of restitution are beyond settler imagination. The logical endgame of settler amnesia, if it is not itself washed away by global capitalism, is the elimination of an Aboriginal presence from Australia. In the meantime, as it waits indifferently, settler society can afford a looking glass, beads, bangles, missions, reserves, assimilation, integration, self-determination, reconciliation, practical reconciliation, apology, intervention, recognition, Indigenous Day; a cycle of endless name changes. A history in which I have only a minority shareholding is not a shared history. Crimes against humanity that remain unresolved cannot be reconciled.
The settler narrative is not inscribed upon country itself. Settler memory is merely a self-effacing patina. The settler mind can be conceptualised through the metaphor of the river. High up on the plateau the well-springs of Judaeo-Christian and classical beliefs are its source. Plunging over the abyss, mono-genesis, polygenesis and racial degeneracy form a braided stream. The dead waters of the lagoons mark the silences and denials of the early records where settlement was forced upon an unwilling land. Inexorably the river narrows at the probable massacre sites of Bungool and Lover’s Leap into a ‘serpentine shape’; to swirl around the rocks of Bouddi Point towards and always away from the knowledge that settler memory is immersed in illusions and dreams. Lethe does not join the ‘tranquil water’ of the open sea but turns into the narrang waters, back to the beginnings where Governor Phillip ‘wandered over piles of misshapen desolation, contemplating scenes of wild solitude’ to Looking Glass Rock, which shines like a mirror on a midsummer morning. It prophesies that the settlers leave when the waters cover it.
Not this life, next one. Hopefully well-springs, not another messiah. •
Barry Corr was a participant in the so-called 1965 Freedom Ride, worked for 20 years teaching history in low SES schools, and for twelve years in Aboriginal education. He continues to be involved in Aboriginal education, is involved in Shaws Creek Aboriginal Place in Yellomundee Regional Park, and is an Aboriginal stakeholder in the redevelopment of Thompson Square. He continues to advocate for a memorial to the Hawkesbury’s frontier wars.