Journey through Dja Dja Wurrung Country.
180 Years (1836 – 2016) 30 Sept, 1 & 2 Oct 2016.
The final weekend of September, and early October 2016 marks exactly 180 years since Major T L Mitchell traversed Dja Dja Wurrung Country (1836), now known as Central Victoria. Artist and expeditioner Eliza Tree has organized a series of events over the weekend, to revisit the significance of his journey, and the impact of events to follow.
Major Mitchell named the ‘Australia Felix’, the abundant or happy Australia. His descriptions of land “resembling an English park” are what we now understand to be of Indigenous cultural landscapes, populated and actively cultivated for ongoing abundance by Dja Dja Wurrung Peoples, for many millennia
Eliza’s new paintings focus increasingly on pre-contact times, revealing abundant landscape and ecology, amidst a fascinating and varied geological region – ranging from volcanoes to granitic metamorphic aereols and outcrops, ancient ocean beds and extensive systems of waterways. Inspired and informed by primary source documents, and maps, and the works of Bruce Pascoe and Bill Gammage, the new paintings shine new light on the region and Indigenous ownership and occupation. Dja Dja Wurrung Country, Taungwurrung Country, Kulin Nation.
Eliza Tree’s ongoing research also reveals that the ‘Land rush’ of squatters and sheep which followed hot on Mitchells wheel tracks 1836 – 1851, caused dispossession and disaster for the Indigenous peoples, of unprecedented scale. The fifteen years preceding the Gold rush(s) wrought destruction upon Culture and landscape, with the introduction of hard hooves, firearms and lawless pastoral invasion, in what is now be understood to be the ‘Fastest land grab in history”.
This Event is not to celebrate, but to recognise Mitchell’s journey and the avalanche of events which were to follow.
Friday, 30th September 2016:
11 am – 1 pm : Forest Creek walk – through Castlemaine Landcare Rehabilitation area, retracing Mitchell’s steps with references to his Journal and maps. Meet at Happy Valley Rd, corner of Verlin St, Castlemaine. Welcome by Castlemaine Landcare. 2.5 km walk. BYO drinks & sturdy shoes. Minibus available to return to start. Gold coin donation.
Saturday, 1st October 2016 :
1pm – 6 pm : Exhibition of Paintings by Eliza Tree; Maps and Text. Welcome by Uncle Ricky Nelson & Launch at 4 pm.
Billy Tea & bubbles. New Venue: 137 Mostyn Street, Castlemaine.
Sunday, 2nd October 2016 :
10am– 4 pm : Retracing Major Mitchell’s 1836 Expedition by Road, from Newstead to Redesdale, Revisiting descriptions from Mitchells Journals and maps. Meet at the Rotunda,: 10 am. Pyrenees Hwy, Newstead. To book seat on bus ph: 0413 191 227 or Carpool. BYO lunch and drinks. Cost $20.00, $15.00 concession.
Further details: www.majormitchellexpedition.com
or M 0413 191 227