Purchase Edition

Edition 63

Contents
Essay

Life and death on Dyarubbin

Reports from the Hawkesbury River

ON THE RIVERBANK at the old Sackville Aboriginal Reserve on Dyarubbin there’s a stone obelisk. It seems permanent and solid, but it has a habit of slipping out of landscape and memory. Erected in 1952, the obelisk was later swallowed whole by lantana, and when found again during a clean-up in the 1970s, nobody could recall anything about it.[i] There is a sense of quiet reverence to it – this tall, solitary monument dark with age, like a gravestone. But perhaps more striking is the fantastical old fig tree nearby, its interwoven roots wrapped over a massive rectangular rock.

I am here on the river with Darug descendants Leanne Watson, Erin Wilkins and Jasmine Seymour, as well as historian and archaeologist Paul Irish. It’s autumn, the season of mirror-still water and pure-white morning fogs that burn off gradually to shreds and wisps. We are on our first field trip for... Read more

To access the full text version of this article, login if you are a subscriber.
Subscribe to Griffith REVIEW or purchase the edition in our Online Store.


From Griffith Review Edition 63: Writing the Country © Copyright Griffith University & the author.

Griffith Review