In February 2010 a brochure and map of the Royal National Park was produced by the NSW Government, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, National Parks & Wildlife Service.
On it’s front page it reads “Royal National Park” adding “the traditional country of the Dharawal people”.
The first paragraph of the Park Description reads:
“Royal National Park is the (traditional) country of the Dharawal people. Gazetted in 1879 as The National Park, it was renamed The Royal National Park after Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Australia in 1954.”
But how are we to account for the process which took place between the country being that of Dharawal people and it being gazetted as The National Park in 1879?
The brochure passes over these matters in silence. The land certainly was not gifted to the nation, or to the colony of NSW, by grateful Dharawal people.
In the space between those two opening sentences we shall find much which needs to be made articulate if we are to contribute to healing the damage done to life by the new practices forcefully imposed on Australian life since 1788.
ISBN 978 1 74122 925 7 DECC 2010/76 February 2010