Frontier and Land Ownership

Gym and housework provided the opportunity to listen to the next two lectures of Professor Broome’s Australian Aboriginal History course: “The Nature of Frontier” and “Aboriginal and European Meanings of Land.” The example of the enclosure of British common land to private ownership demonstrated the wide ranging consequences of changing land ownership; from economic and social re-organisation to radicalisation of dispossessed people and changing identities. I imagine this sets up the next lecture “Possessing Australia.” The narratives around changing land use and economic and social reo-organisation continue to play out in NSW cultural heritage management. I’ve worked with a range of Aboriginal individuals and organisations who have different structures for engaging with cultural heritage and development. Groups are also employing different strategies to achieve community aims in response to development such as using the consultation process to gain community-led results for cultural heritage and education, funds to acquire land so that it can be managed in a more culturally appropriate manner and/or using funds to improve community facilities and capacities and much more. Often these strategies have directly financial impact on their community members. Similarly heritage consultancies and developers have their own structures and strategies to achieving their agendas. I see an essay on power structure, economic and social interaction coming on….

Continuing with the theme of frontiers, I read the first chapter of Richard Slotkin’s Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America” and watched another Western. All this studying calls for cake.