I pay my respects to all Aboriginal Peoples past present and future and all who support and promote continuity of Aboriginal culture as allies
Together we are intergenerational species spirit and environments
My family are dharug ngurra balanyini men and women, nyinibala women and men
being-as-murungun (custodians) of muru-paths and ngun-we two.
Our cultural being-as-yanamalila, walking forward together singing connectedness as durrubbin, our badu of rivers and waterholes, brackish to salt waters across primordial sandstones, lead us to acknowledge tugear-Dharawal, also we two.
We also acknowledge our ancestry as Walsh of Kilkenny Mountain Ireland and are grateful to our brothers and sisters of anawain for holding my ancestors as safe as possible when they were forced to migrate north from Sydney.
From a personal perspective, my blessings of being grown up on Country as bondi and bronti, wollondilly, woronora, guringai, yooran-waradjuri, gamilaroi and more, has given me dedication to present our culture in a modern world.
Venessa Possum burramattagal Continuity, photographic documentation of a temporal site-specific artefact.
To follow are some images collected as early colonial graphic archives which relate to my ancestry and research. The first is a map of the area that became known as "The Cowpastures" after Crown appointed explorers found a cave painting of lost herds. I revise this archive as a cultural perspective, reiterating balanyina, men and women being-caretakers of waterholes from durrubbin (Camden region of Nepean River) to Georges River. balanyini is also acknowledging tugear, meaning 'we two' being-connectedness between these significant River systems of the Sydney basin.
The fourth image is a detail of a map made by a Crown appointed botanist showing George Caley. The map reveals a cultural feature of my ancestral ngurra. A formation of grasses and small trees reveals traditional land management for example, the burning practices used to cultivate a u-shaped area for seasonal herding of kangaroo and wallaby. Caley has given the place a Eurocentric name "Green dingle."
Venessa Possum balanyini murungun: Revising the Colonial Archive 2020, citing "WHERE THE WILD HERDS WERE FOUND IN 1795" (1932, August 13), The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16889509
The Cowpastures region: Joseph Lycett c1817, Image courtesy of NLA.
Female Orphan School by Augustus Earle c1825. In the collection of the National Library of Australia, object/281833
Detail: George Caley "The Limits and Boundaries of the Vaccary Forest" c1804; notice the letter E. cultivated as u-shaped area for seasonal herding of kangaroo and wallaby, and below this feature a sharp bend in durrubbin (Nepean River) is our kirbuwali (shallow crossing).