Monday, August 15, 2011

Good News from my Home Town

It all happens here. Youth Week and Science Week. Soon there will be a Moon Festival. Ramadan continues. West Express 2011 is showcasing talent. Digital Series is workshopping comedy, acting and improv. Lansvale Public School is having its' 50th anniversary celebration soon.

Regardless of government and policy, more migrants are coming to our community. We grow and we change. And we have for a long time. We might fall off of our bikes, but we dust ourselves off and climb back on.

James Meehan was a surveyor who came out in the early days of Sydney. He travelled far and wide and came up with a theory regarding Aboriginal settlements. It was clear Aboriginal peoples had recently lived in some of the areas he surveyed, but they had also left those areas too. They were nomadic peoples, but they had kept away from those former places they had frequented for years. It was a puzzle of the day. It wasn't attributed to those bush fires the first fleet had faced in those early years, times of drought. They simply left.

James Meehan observed Aboriginal hunters. Kangaroos were the big game. They don't move backwards, they only move forwards. Aboriginal hunters would wound a kangaroo and then track it until they could kill it. A technique honed over thousands of years. They fled the areas near the first settlers. Although isolated incidents had occurred, it wasn't felt the Aboriginal peoples had fled bad behavior of the settlers, who had shared food during the drought. Meehan felt Aboriginal peoples had fled because of their hunting practice and the animals of the first fleets.

The first fleet had brought chickens, for eggs, and cattle. The manure from the cattle wasn't biodegradable, however, because Australian flies wouldn't lay their eggs in it. A freak occurrence meant no flies had survived from England. Flies survived from the second fleet, and they loved Australian climate. They became what are now called blow flies.

Aboriginal hunters would not have a problem with chickens. But bulls were a different matter. In Greek history it was noted bulls weren't hunted. They were farmed. Bulls don't run when wounded. They charge. The settlers brought a savage beast to our shores. These lands became called bad for hunting.

Ironically, Cabramatta is named because it is a food bowl for Aboriginal peoples. Cabra is a stick insect which used to be edible. Matta stands for pools. Cabramatta literally meant place of good eating. But it wasn't good for hunting in those early years.
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