From Another View – Laverton and Ngaanyatjarra Lands 6 – 10 August 2018

Users are warned there may be words and descriptions (from historical texts) that may be culturally sensitive and which might not normally be used in certain public or community contexts.

Given the success of the Storylines session  the From Another View project team undertook on our previous visit, a follow up session at the Laverton Community Resource Centre was held. The session was another success with new insights into ways Aboriginal peoples lived, worked and moved throughout the Goldfields and Western Desert regions.

People attending the session were able to identify a number of  previously unidentified people in photographs on Storylines. For example, the image below had only identified Mr Lapten in the foreground. However, during the session Mr Noel Green in the background was identified.

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Mr Lapten with hose near windmill at Cosmo Newbery Mission. https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/7594

Previous to the From Another View project there were no known photographs of Noel in the State Library collections but as a result of this engagement there are two images, which are now easily accessible to his family.

The image below, a  grindstone photographed in Warburton in the 1960s, started discussion about its traditional use. Community members informed us that grindstones are  used to grind seeds from plants like Mulga trees, wildflowers, grass and others to make flour for damper.

Ngaanyatjarra Lands 8 – 10 August

Warburton

John Forrest and the expedition team travelled north of where the Warburton Community is now located. During the travel they had interactions with Yarnangu people:

“11th [August]. Continued on to the water found ahead, and on our way saw some clay-holes with water and satisfied the horses. When near the spring, saw natives’ tracks, and shortly afterwards a fire with a whole kangaroo roasting in it. The natives had made off when they saw us, leaving their game cooking. Continuing on, and passing the native well, we reached the granite rocks, two miles from the spring, and camped. While having dinner we saw two natives about a quarter of a mile from us, watching us; we beckoned to them, and Windich and I approached them. As we neared them they began talking and moving off slowly; we could not get close to them, although they did not appear to be afraid of us. Some fine ranges are visible from here South-East.East.” 

– Forrest, J. Explorations in Australia. 1875 online at Project Gutenberg
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks/e00051.html 

The project team visited the Wilurarra Creative youth arts centre and Warburton Arts to discuss the project. Wilurarra Creative undertake a number of projects in visual arts, music, audio visual and fashion including operating a hair salon. Warburton Art centre is an international art space and holds “the largest collection of Indigenous art in Australia that is held by Aboriginal people themselves”.

Blackstone

During the trek, Alexander Forrest collected plant specimens at locations north of Warburton and east of Wingellina community. Approximately half of the specimens collected have known ethnobotanical uses. The purpose of the visit to Blackstone was to identify plant specimens which were collected during the 1874 expedition, and learn about the traditional cultural knowledge of plants.

After an early drive from Warburton (to account for a change in time-zone) the project team met up with the Blackstone/Papulankutja Ranger group. The group took the project team to a place between Wingellina and Blackstone overlooking Mt Aloysius .

The group dug for maku (bardi/witchitcy grub) in the roots of Acacia bushes and prepared a bush tomato (Solanum) to eat. In the local Ngaanyatjarra and Pitjantjarra languages the maku bush is called wartakarra/warṯarka and the bush tomato kampurarrpa, karti-karti/kampuṟara.

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The following photos are by State Library of Western Australia. Thank you to Blackstone Rangers and Ngaanyatjarra Council for giving permission to take and use photographs.

holding maku

Maku live in the roots of Acacia bushes such as the Acacia ligulata and the Acacia kempeana

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Bush tomato plant, possibly Solanum chippendalei

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Preparing bush tomato for eating.

It was a cold day so the Storylines session was moved from the ’50 cent hall’ to the Women’s Centre. The session was well attended by the community including children, community elders and the Ranger group.

There were a lot of stories shared about life at the Warburton mission and people identified  photos of community members. Community members described the photo below as “ration time”. Those present explained “The first warden to the right (in police hat) is there to check on everyone and make sure there’s no trouble”.

  • The Community members also explained that the rock hole identified in the photo below, is a soak.  “When they dig out, they put grass on it, so the water can come up clean… Natural filter. This is a soak not a rock hole.”
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    Digging out a rock hole, Warburton Ranges, 1949 https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/2463

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    Filtering rockhole water with spinifex to clean it, Warburton Ranges, 1949 https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/2466

    For more information about the From Another View Project, visit the website 

    Storylines is an online archive managed and hosted by the State Library of Western Australia, with advice and guidance provided by an Aboriginal Reference Group with ongoing state-wide consultation. Storylines provides for the digital return of photos and other materials directly to Aboriginal families, communities and people. It is also helping to identify many of the photographs in the J.S. Battye Collection at the State Library.  Hundreds of photographs have been identified since 2013. To access Storylines go to: https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au

From Another View Project: Wiluna to the Carnegie Homestead, via the Canning Stock Route and Glenayle station 26 – 30 May 2018

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From 26-30 May, State Library staff, Bill Gannon and Rod Schlencker travelled from Wiluna via the Canning Stock Route to Windich Spring, Pierre Spring, the Weld Spring/Palatji and then via Glenayle Station to the Carnegie Homestead. The State Library recognise the right of Martu people to check images and content prior to posting online. Therefore, there will be a delay in posting information related to areas closer to the Canning Stock Route. Please check the Google Map for location details.

On 30 May 2018, the project team, Bill and Rod travelled to Mount Moore to view the cairn which John Forrest built at the eastern end of the peak.  During this trip, the project team worked closely with the Martu people from the Birriliburru Native Title area.  John and Alexander Forrest visited Mount Moore between 22 and 26 June 2018. John’s account in Explorations in Australia 1874 states that he visited on 22 June 1874. However, the published map contains the dates 25 and 26 June 1874, at Camp 50.  Mount Moore was named after Mr. W.D. Moore of Fremantle, a subscriber to the Expedition Fund.  On top of Mount Moore, Bill Gannon sketched the Timperley Range which John Forrest described in his diary:

Ascending the the hill we had an extensive view to the South-West, South and South-East. Fine grassy country all round and very little spinifex. To the south about nine miles we saw a lake, and farther off a remarkable red-faced range, which I named Timperley Range, after my friend Mr. W.H. Timperley, Inspector of Police, from whom I received a great deal of assistance before leaving Champion Bay. A remarkable peak, with a reddish top, bore South-South-East, which I named Mount Hosken, after Mr. M. Hosken, of Geraldton, a contributor to the expedition.  Forrrest, J. Explorations in Australia. 1875

To keep informed of project updates follow the From Another View project blog: https://fromanotherview.blog/

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Forrest’s Exploration Diaries now online

Artist Bill Gannon and surveyor Rod Schlenker, visited the State Library to see the original diaries of John and Alexander Forrest’s 1874 expedition from Geraldton to Adelaide. The diaries, which are held in the State Library collections, are now accessible online through the catalogue.(ACC 1241A)

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From Another View Project Coordinator Tui Raven with Rod Schlenker and Bill Gannon as they look at the diaries. (C) State Library of Western Australia, 2018. 

This week Bill Gannon and a team from the State Library will embark on a on a trip to engage with Aboriginal communities and visit key locations along the 1874 trek route.  This artistic and community engagement is part of the ‘From Another View’ project, a collaboration between the State Library and Minderoo Foundation.  The project considers the trek ‘from another view’, or rather from many views, incorporating various creative and Aboriginal community perspectives.

Explore some of the camp locations referenced in John and Alexander Forrest’s diaries through the Google map.

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Forrest’s Expedition to Central Australia, State Library of Western Australia, ACC 1241A

For more information about the From Another View project go to: https://fromanotherview.blog/  Follow the From Another View blog to keep updated with the project.

 

Unfinished Business

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this exhibition contains images and names of deceased persons.

Without stories there is silence. 
Without stories told, we are voiceless. 
Without our stories heard , we are invisible. 
This is very hard, when the stories are hard to hear,
difficult to see and impossible to imagine.

Unfinished Business
 reveals the visual stories of 30  Indigenous Australian’s with disabilities, by photographer Belinda Mason and film makers Knierim Brothers.

Belinda Mason’s photographs present some of the untold stories, which are part of the social and cultural fabric of Western Australia, and the nation.

“Every story is complex and intertwined with Australia’s political and social history, which has resulted in today’s unacceptably high rates of disability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities….Through their involvement in the project each participant draws much-needed attention to critical issues that impact on their lives. Participants of the exhibition live with a wide range of disability experiences – acquired, congenital, sensory, psychological, intellectual, visible and invisible.”-  Belinda Mason

The exhibition includes a number of photographs of individuals from Western Australian regional areas including Mowanjum, Geraldton, and Carnarvon.

One of the West Australian’s featured is June Oscar, a woman of Bunuba descent. June Oscar is the Grandmother of Hudson who has Feotal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

June Oscar

The Matriarch, June Oscar. Photograph by Belinda Mason. 

“I am the Grandmother of Hudson. It was not right that our little children were growing up in this environment who are living their lives with unique and complex needs as a result of alcohol exposure in utero. So in 2007 the women got together and made a strong and final decision that we would apply for alcohol restrictions in our community. We want our people to know that, this is their community, that this community cares about them and that we are prepared to make the hard decisions and stand up”

Accessibility is at the heart of this exhibition. People with sensory, cognitive and learning impairments are able to engage with the exhibition through OpenAcessTours a mobile app available for apple and android devices.

The power of this exhibition lies in its ability to evoke empathy,  as Mason explains,

“We cannot argue when someone says ‘I feel…’ – it is not our right. It is part of our own journey to learn empathy rather than compassion. Our reaction exposes us to to ourselves, and reminds us that we all need the ability to listen when someone lays their soul naked in our path”.

Gary Umbagai

The Hanging Tree, Gary Umbagai. Photograph by Belinda Mason

Unfinished Business is on display at the State Library until 3 June 2016. For more information visit our website.

  • Copies of the book of the same name can be purchased from the State Library Shop
  • Parental guidance is advised for young children visiting the exhibition
  • The State Library is a wheelchair accessible venue

Nadj Nidj Maaya – What’s that sound?: Old songs and Noongar language

Using the archives of the JS Battye Library of West Australian history, 2014 Battye Fellow Clint Bracknell has identified over 50 songs in Noongar language.

Public Talk: Monday 6 July 2015: 12:00 – 1:00 
State Library of Western Australia Theatre
Book now to secure your seat

Listen to Clint discuss how old Noongar songs may be plugged back into a resilient network of intersecting knowledge, geography, story and relationships, and sung back at the archive in a way that challenges its authority, its truths and its silences.

Presented as part of NAIDOC 2015 We All Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect & Celebrate.

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All venues at the State Library are wheelchair accessible 
For more information visit: www.slwa.wa.gov.au 

Memory House goes State-wide

In 2014 our Memory House exhibition celebrated  the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and textures of Western Australia.

To encourage representation of the entire state, we invited selected regional public libraries to host a Memory House letterbox giving their communities an opportunity to share memories of their area on postcards.

The Libraries set up displays around the letterboxes and held events to facilitate memory sharing and discussion. Libraries decorated their letterboxes in a style that reflected their region.

Broome Library gets into the Memory House spirit, 2014. Photo credit: Broome Library

Broome Library gets into the Memory House spirit with their display, 2014. Photo: Broome Library

There were some outstanding responses from the regions. We thank the following participating libraries and community members for their contributions: South Hedland, Exmouth, Narrogin, Merredin, Broome, Karratha, Dampier, Wickham, Roebourne, Geraldton, Laverton, Toodyay, Busselton and Albany.

View the full collection of letterboxes and postcards at the State Library on the 1 June for WA Day. Here are some of our regional highlights:

Pearl Ashwin (Baumgarten) attended a seniors morning tea at South Hedland Library as part of Memory House. There she was delighted to find an image of herself as a young nurse. Pearl’s photo was featured on a postcard promoting Storylines, an online archive relating to Aboriginal history in Western Australia.

Pearl Ashwin with  photograph, South Hedland Library 2014. Photo credit: South Hedland Library

Pearl Ashwin with photograph, South Hedland Library 2014. Photo credit: South Hedland Library

Pearl Ashwin was one of the first Aboriginal women in Meekatharra to become a registered nurse. In the postcard she is pictured working at Meekatharra hospital. South Hedland Library staff were able to capture this photo of Pearl with her postcard.

Toodyay Library hosted ‘Internment to Enlightenment’, a historical walk and guest speaker presentation by Beth Frayne from the Toodyay Historical Society. The talk began at the Old Gaol Museum and ended at the Toodyay Library, where participants shared Toodyay memories. Among postcard contributions were unique Toodyay smells including, “Coal being shovelled into the boiler of the Toodyay steam train” and sounds such as “Kookaburra’s laughing” and “Bees humming in a jacaranda tree”.

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Toodyay Library ‘Internment to Enlightenment’ 2014. Photo credit: Toodyay Library

Merredin’s Local Fine Art Society produced this beautifully painted letter box displaying the vivid colours of the wheatbelt region.

Merredin Library letterbox (details), Merredin Artist Society 2014

Merredin Library letterbox (details), Merredin Artist Society 2014

Merredin Library letterbox (details), Merredin Artist Society 2014

Merredin Library letterbox (details), Merredin Artist Society 2014

Narrogin Library hosted an exhibition, ‘seniors through the eyes of youth’ at  Narrogin ARtSpace.  Seniors were paired with young people, and they were encouraged to share their stories. The activity culminated with a photographic exhibition during Seniors Week.

The Memory House regional engagement project was made possible through the generous support of the State Library of Western Australia Foundation and Lotterywest.

North Metropolitan Health Services Kambarang Day, Midland 9th October

Yellow Everlastings

Yellow Everlastings road to Carnarvon

Kambarang – Wildflower season (season of birth) October – November

North Metropolitan Health Services Kambarang Day,  Midland  9th October

Family History Subject Specialists Tricia Fairweather and Leonie Hayes recently attended Kambarang Day at Midland. Appropriately, it was a typical balmy spring day that attracted a good crowd.
The purpose of Kambarang Day is to create awareness in Indigenous communities of health and allied services available and to promote healthy living. There was live music, a petting zoo (very cute piglet), cooking demonstrations, fresh fruit, free health checks and all manner of advice available.
We were attending to support our Indigenous Specialist Damien Webb to promote Storylines the State Library website that has been developed to make our digitised indigenous heritage material available online to Aboriginal people.

Bessie Flower

Anne Camfield (seated) and Bessie Flower, 1860s

Storylines is a growing database of photographs and documents relating to Aboriginal people. So many photographs from our collections have only the original captions: “group of natives at…” or “aboriginal man with spear”. Making them available online is not only a way of returning them but is also helping us to identify many of the individuals in the photographs .

Carol and Max, Warburton Mission, 1958-1961

Carol and Max, Warburton Mission, 1958-1961

We have found demonstrating Storylines to be very rewarding and it has given us a great sense of how close knit the community is. Our experience has encompassed the excitement of a young boy on being shown a delightful photograph of his auntie as a young girl and an elderly gentleman identifying his grandfather and other relatives in a family group.

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Karalundi Mission, September 1960, domestic science class.

Violinist, Derby 1948.

Violinist, Derby 1948.

As well as promoting Storylines we were able to assist many people with general and specific enquiries about family history. The day also provided us a welcome opportunity to network with other stallholders and exchange information about the various services we all have to offer.
As Librarians, we were particularly delighted with the stall for Ngala, a provider of early childhood services, that had a selection of some of the most popular picture books as giveaways. We swapped information about our Better Beginnings early literacy programs and left brochures detailing these as well as our eresources for family history.
We were also able to demonstrate our children’s eresources to some youngsters, their older siblings, parents and grandparents. They were particularly taken with Busythings  a fun online suite of games and activities that help children to develop literacy and numeracy while having great fun.
It was a very productive day for us with the added benefit of having an excellent time – although I did have to reluctantly relinquish my freebie yo-yo to a very appealing (and pleading) child.

More regional WA newspapers added to Trove

Eastern Districts Chronicle: York

Eastern Districts Chronicle: York

For those researching their WA families, their home towns or historic events in Western Australia, Trove provides a window into the past.
Hosted by the National Library of Australia, Trove is the portal to Australian online resources including books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music and archives. The most popular part of Trove is the Digitised newspapers and more section, an historical collection of searchable city and rural newspapers from around Australia.
Eight new Western Australian newspaper titles covering the period 1877 – 1954 have recently been added to Trove.
They are:
Eastern Districts Chronicle (York:  1877 – 1927)
Great Southern Herald (Katanning:  1901 – 1954)
Norseman Times (1898 – 1920)
The Pilbarra Goldfield News (Marble Bar:  1897 – 1923)
South Western Advertiser (Perth:  1910 – 1954)
The South-Western News (Busselton:  1903 – 1949)
Toodyay Herald (1912 – 1954)
Westralian Worker (Perth: 1900 – 1951)

Unlike many historical newspaper databases from overseas Trove is free to access – so follow our link and start your historical journey now!
Trove digitised newspapers and more.

Walmajarri stories online

Read some truly awesome stories in Walmajarri, English and Kriol online RIGHT NOW! 65 Books written and illustrated by kids and adults from Kadjina Aboriginal Community and now fully online at the State Library of WA.
http://catalogue.slwa.wa.gov.au/record=b3303747~S1

Head to the launch in the Cultural Centre tomorrow at 3pm – one of many events during “Revealed: Emerging Aboriginal Artists from Western Australia” http://www.perthculturalcentre.com.au/What’s-On/?eventid=19892