Reading Mother Country
My ancestor Hannah Brown was Indigenous Australian, and another ancestor was the celebrated Australian artist Tom Roberts. As a child I imagined pictures on the pages of my school Readers moving, like the picture of Tom's painting, 'Shearing the Rams'. Through September 2018 I trace the footsteps of Hannah Brown in Western Victoria and tell a story to the rhythm of a lunar cycle. I climb Pyramid Hill where Major Mitchell proclaimed the lie, "...a land so inviting and still without inhabitants." The country that surrounds Pyramid Hill is now the farmland he envisaged for colonisation. The solar system refers to the Milankovitch cycles that govern natural patterns of climate change and evolution, patterns respected in Indigenous cultures worldwide, and disrupted by massive consumption and disregard for fellow living beings. Indigenous and Antarctic views relate Australia to the whole natural world from which we are born.
I am grateful to Tony Higgins, my second cousin in Victoria who provided the map to trace our shared stories of Aboriginal ancestry.
Lisa Roberts 2018