Various websites have indicated that the tract of land between Geilston Bay and Risdon Cove contains a great deal of evidence of land and river use by the original land owners.
Previously I acknowledged the traditional owners of the land along the Derwent River that I have been walking across. This land, before European settlement, belonged to the Moomairremener people however the early international settlers failed to understand that the local inhabitants had established government practices and legal systems, and worked with the land and sea to ensure an ongoing food supply. Unfortunately the characteristics which made the indigenous people civilised were different to those characteristics which made the settlers civilised. Because of their major cultural differences, both groups of people couldn’t grasp the positive values of each other. Each failed to learn from the other so that neither came to an understanding that the difference between them did not make one group better or worse. As the new settlers encroached on aboriginal land and hunting grounds without understanding the value and significance of what they were doing and attacked aboriginal people, inevitably the Moomairremener people attacked in return.
Bedlam Walls Point’s aboriginal cave, middens and quarry were the main features of aboriginal occupation that I expected to access during my walk. Regrettably I did not find the cave or the middens but I did see, at a distance, the quarry. Another walk is needed to take more time to access these additional sites.
All the above are in easy walking distance of the site (Risdon Cove) at which, according to one story, an Aboriginal band hunting kangaroos was mistaken by whites for attackers and massacred (http://fieldnotestasmania.blogspot.com.au/2009/11/bedlam-walls-walk.html). According to http://www.australianhistorymysteries.info/pdfs/StudiesAHM-1.pdf “On 3 May 1804 there was a violent clash between a group of British settlers and a large party of Aboriginal people at Risdon Cove, near Hobart in Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen’s Land). Different writers and historians have given varying accounts of what happened then.” In my view, neither option expressed on this website does any credit to the early settlers.
I cannot help thinking about the ongoing contemporary parallels where governments provoke fear by urging our populations to be vigilant against others who dress or look different. I cannot see this is a helpful way to learn to understand the benefits that different people can bring to all our lives.