Many people have no interest in their social or cultural origins, let alone their country or place. While I am first and foremost an Australian, and proud of my country, I am proud of it as country and people more so than a political entity. I am also proud of my genetic origins and the cultural heritage I have inherited from ancestors from a number of European countries. I am very much aware that my ancestors lived in various parts of Europe, emigrated within Europe and out of Europe. For 2,000 years, my ancestors consisted of Celt, Anglo Saxon, Viking and Germanic peoples.
When I was born in 1947, my parents were living in Ningy Ningy country (Redcliffe, Queensland). They came from Boonwurrungm country (my father – South Melbourne) and Gadigal country (my mother – Vaucluse) The Ningy Ningy clan was the southernmost clan of the Undambi people. I was born in Turrbal country (Virginia Hospital), some kilometers south of Redcliffe , but lived in Ningy Ningy and Wakka Wakka country (Kingaroy) for the first two years of my life.
Around 1950, we moved to my grandparents (mothers parents) house in Birrabirragal (Gadigal) country (Vaucluse) and three years later to Courmangara (Watsons Bay). I
n 1966 I moved to the Kulin nations country, living in Boonwurrungm country (Beaumaris). Over the next 5 years, I lived in other parts of Boonwurrungm country (South Yarra, St. Kilda and Chelsea). For a brief time, I also lived in Boroondara (Camberwell) country, home of the Wurundjeri clan of Woiwurrung people, and was married there in 1970.
In 1971, I moved back to Gadigal country (Vaucluse and Bondi), where our son Kent was born, before once again moving in 1972, to Ningy Ningy country (Redcliffe) where another son, Drew, was born.
In 1978, we moved to Darramuragal country (St Ives) and in 1996 again to Gadigal country (Petersham). For over half my life I have lived in Gadigal country, and Cournmangara is my spiritual home. It is where my ashes will be buried.
2,000 years of European cultural history is important to me. 65,000 years of indigenous cultural history and it’s place in “country” is more important.