Tag Archives: Directed Study

Mimburi Magic Book is Finished!

My Directed Study project, the creation of a Mimburi Bush Tucker/Bush Medicine Book is now finished! We ended up with the title: Mimburi Magic: Some of the Flora and Fauna of Mimburi and Their Uses.

Mimburi Magic book Cover

It was a fantastic experience working with Aunty Beverly Hand from Mimburi Upper Mary Aboriginal Association (MUMAA), on the property at Belli Park in South East Queensland.

We managed to create:

  • A database of photographs of the different floral and faunal species found at Mimburi
  • The Mimburi Magic Book (50 pages)
  • The Birds of Mimburi DVD
  • A map of the location of species included in the Magic of Mimburi book.

Map of species

We did this through in the field recording of:

  • The flora and fauna on the Mimburi property.
  • Mapping  their locations.
  • Photographing the species.

And a literature review of:

  • Historical documents that were from around  Mimburi and the surrounding area
  • Language recordings
  • Anthropological recordings of people at Cherbourg
  • Flora and fauna books

As well as expert advice:

  • That the species we had identified were the right species, and
  • Aunty Beverly Hand’s traditional ecological knowledge.

Lessons learnt from my Directed Study project include:

  • The sheer quantity of information. There are are so many species that call Mimburi home and we tried to capture as many as was possible, however the book became bigger than Ben Hur. We now have a draft version of the bigger version of the book that includes all the species we documented (about 120) for the community to work on. From the start it would have been better, instead of trying to capture all species, to only focus on a few key species.
  • Photographing all the species for the book was great, however the time it took to capture the species and then edit and crop the photographs was not taken into account.
  • The video of bird species worked well, however, this also took a great deal of time to put together.
  • Meetings early on with publishers was great to get an overall idea of the layout of the book, however, it would have been much more beneficial to seek funding early for a graphic designer. I did try with the programs that we had available to produce something that was print worthy, however the time it takes to learn a program in order to have a quality product was just not feasible. We ended up doing the book in Microsoft Word and it is sitting there waiting for either funding or a volunteer graphic designer to convert it into a publishable product.

All in all, it was a great experience working alongside Aunty Beverly Hand, spending time at Mimburi with her, recording her traditional ecological knowledge and photographing the species that call Mimburi home. We now have a book of eighteen species, each with their own photograph taken at Mimburi, and a description of their habitat, location and cultural use. We are hoping that in the future, a graphic designer will transform the book into one that is ready for print. Many thanks to MUMAA and Flinders University for allowing me to undertake this project.

Mimburi Traditional Ecological Uses and Cultural Uses of Flora and Fauna Book

The Mimburi book is progressing nicely. This is part of my Directed Studies (ARCH8403) project, which is part of my Masters of Cultural Heritage Management (see previous blog ‘Flora and Fauna of Mimburi- the Bush tucker/ bush medicine/ cultural uses book’ for more information). Aunty Beverly Hand (Kabi Kabi Traditional Custodian and Mimburi Upper Mary Aboriginal Association President) and myself have been for many walks around the property, photographing species of flora and fauna that we have come across and having discussions about their uses. When we return to the Wongai Room (the office) I have been undertaking research on various resources in order to gather more information. Currently we are collating all our information. Photographs have been placed in their species folders and we have a working draft of the book. We are now sitting on 100 species. At one stage it seemed that the book was getting bigger than Ben Hur and we had to remind ourselves that the goal is to produce a book on some of the flora and fauna of Mimburi. We cannot include every species that is at Mimburi for now. The book is like a stage one, or volume one, which the community can add to in the future.

We have identified three key species that we do not have photographs of, that we think are really needed in the book, as they are rare and threatened species and the key species that saved the property from being turned into the Mary River Dam in 2009. It was the five umbrella species, including the Giant Barred Frog and the Mary River Turtle (and others), that allowed the Federal Government, under environmental legislation, to stop the State Government’s plan to build the Mary River Dam. These five species are all found at the Mimburi property and thus we thought they were important to include in the book. Aunty Beverly and I will utilise our networks in order to find the three photographs required.


Azure Kingfisher at Mimburi (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

I have already met with Marc Russell, Environmental Operations Officer for Sunshine Coast Regional Council, who kindly offered his own personal collection of plant photographs for use in the book as long as acknowledgement is made to him. We will go down this track with other people for the key species as well.

We did try putting out a fauna monitor in three different places around Mimburi, which was lent to us from Sunshine Coast Regional Council, as the property has Land for Wildlife status. We have only so far managed to get images of a few cows and the tail of a Scrub Turkey, but hopefully we will capture some other species when we find the right position for it.

Fauna monitor in place (Photo Kate Greenwood)

Fauna monitor in place (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

I have been busy reviewing Kabi Kabi language documents and, with the assistance of Aunty Beverly, have decided to utilise Zachariah Skyring’s 1870 recordings of Kabi Kabi language, as he lived close to Mimburi. His recordings were found via historical research and library visits. They are in no way a conclusive list and other Kabi Kabi language recordings and word lists will be utilised for species and items that we do not have names from Skyring.  These word lists will include the work of Watson (1944), Petrie (1904), Mathew (1887), Ridley (1887), Westaway (1887), Landsborough (1887) and others. Bianca Bond, Aunty Beverly’s daughter, has been undertaking Kabi Kabi language work for quite some time now and her expertise will be essential for the audio recording of language names in the online version and for the spelling in the hard copy version of the book.

Zachariah Skyring's handwritten notes (Photography Kate Greenwood)

Some of Zachariah Skyring’s handwritten notes

A lot of the historical information has also been collated and added to the draft of the book. Where possible, we are using historical accounts to describe species and/ or their use. For example:

‘With the natural history and appearance of one of these relicts of the ancient forest, the Moreton Bay fig-tree, which I then saw for the first time, I was remarkably struck. This tree bears a species of fig, which I was told (for it was not in season at the time) is by no means unpalatable, and of which it seems both the black natives and the bronze-winged pigeons of the Australian forest are equally fond’ (Lang 1861:81).

We have decided to do it this way as we would like the book not to be like the usual flora and fauna books, in that each species tells a story that is unique. and therefore each page is different from the others.

Moreton Bay Fig (Photography Kate Greenwood

Moreton Bay Fig (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

Discussions have been undertaken with Michael Aird, Director of Keeira Press, in regards to layout out the hard copy book. As we have no current funding, I am trying to learn graphic design layout for the book. We are still in discussions about what will work best and it seems that it will be similar to the historical information, i.e. that every page will be different, not just in text, but in visual design as well.

The next stage is to check with experts that we have photographed and identified the correct species and to continue with compiling the book.


Landsborough, W 1887 Portion of the Country Between Brisbane and Gympie, Curr, E. M 1887, 1886-1897 The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Lang, J. D 1861 A Highly Eligible Field for Emigration and the Future Cotton-field of Great Britain: With a Disquisition on The Origin, Manners, and Customs of the Aborigines. London: Edward Stanford.

Mathew, J 1887 Mary River and Bunya Bunya Country. In Curr, E. M (ed.), The Australian Race – its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Petrie, C 1904 Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland, Watson, Ferguson & Co.: Brisbane.

Ridley, W 1887 North side of Moreton Bay. In Curr, E. M (ed.),  The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Skyring, Z 1870 Gympie District Aboriginal Dialect. Unpublished notes.

Watson, F 1944 Vocabularies of four representative tribes of south eastern Queensland with grammatical notes thereof and some notes on manners and customs. Supplement to Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of Australiasia (Queensland) 34 Vol. XLVIII.

Westaway, R 1887 Portion of the country Between Brisbane and Gympie. In Curr, E. M (ed.), The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Finishing up my directed study

By April Webb

It’s the end of semester and my directed study is done, hooray! (Not that I mean to imply that it wasn’t fun… of course.) It was a lot of work (50% research, 25% writing, 25% deleting the gibberish that my cats inserted while I wasn’t looking), but now I can say with confidence that I have a basic understanding of Indigenous heritage management in Australia. And now I can do more than nod politely and give a blank stare when people talk about legislation and government bodies that I previously knew nothing about. I’m sure that’s a good thing. In my previous blog posts I discussed the basic advantages of a regional governance system, and talked a little about the Ngarrindjeri and Torres Strait Regional Authorities. Here’s a summary of my final report.

This segment of Horton's map of Aboriginal Australia shows the locations of the four ARA Test Sites.

This segment of Horton’s map of Aboriginal Australia shows the locations of the four ARA Test Sites.

In July 2013 the Department of the Premier and Cabinet of the South Australian Government announced plans for implementing a system of Aboriginal Regional Authorities across the state. These Authorities would be responsible for a range of functions which would differ according to the needs and capabilities of each region, and would base their operations to an extent on the successful example of the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority. Submissions were received from a variety of interested parties, and in December 2013 test sites were chosen. They are:

• Narungga (Yorke Peninsula) – Narungga Aboriginal Corporation Regional Authority;
• Ngarrindjeri (Lower River Murray) – Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority;
• Port Augusta – Port Augusta Aboriginal Community Engagement Group; and
• Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) – Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Association.

My Directed Study project involved a study of existing ARAs and similar structures in order to determine how such bodies might function, and what their pros and cons might be.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, regionalism was generally seen as a desirable model for Indigenous governance, as evidenced in the academic literature on the subject and in submissions made to the South Australian Government on the topic by interested parties. A caveat was that regions should be decided by Indigenous people themselves and not be the product of ‘top-down’ approaches, such as that derived through census data. It was also noted that Regional Authorities would most likely need to have statutory authority  or some sort of legislative recognition in order to achieve effective governance, although there are some examples of bodies who are able to govern effectively without this, such as the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority. Funding was another major concern. It is likely that Regional bodies will require more intensive funding from the government in their early stages, and that this will enable them to become more self-sufficient as time goes on. The funding arrangements of existing bodies such as the NRA and Gumala Aboriginal Corporation provided insight into possible schemes for self-funding. Lastly, Aboriginal Regional Authorities might provide clarification in South Australia on whom to approach for heritage matters, and exactly how much authority Indigenous groups have in these instances.

So, I am happy to say that my report is finished and submitted! Now it’s the holidays, time for me to concentrate on other things, like watching TV and continuing with my botched attempts to learn to play the flute (sorry, neighbours). Oh, and continuing to work on this report. My industry partner has mentioned that we might be able to turn the report into a joint publication eventually, which is very exciting. So, still a lot of work to do!

Taylorville: A Place of Mystery

Boggy Flat was established by James White in 1871. James White held approximately 21 pastoral leases, covering an area of 1,386 square miles. In 1908 Frederick George Taylor, a famer, renamed Boggy Flat to Taylorville. Taylor is also known as the father of Taylorville. Taylor and his family’s first home was located under the cliffs at Gillen East; their permanent home was completed in 1911 on the Murray.

James White

James White

At Taylorville there was a river landing for paddle steamers, and the Kookaburra and the Queen were constant visitors.

There was a stage coach that ran between Morgan, Renmark and Wentworth (when required), operated by Moody and Plush. F.G. Taylor opened a post office on April 13, 1915; it closed on July 31, 1967. In 1914 F.G. Taylor created the F.G. Taylor and Sons Mail Lorry.


Mallyons Restaurant

Western’s Flat was part of Taylorville; on the site was a building built in 1841 that was specifically designed as a rest stop for overlanders travelling to Overland Corner. This building is an organic restaurant today known as Mallyons. A hotel was built within the area and the rest stop became a stable for passengers and staff of Cobb and Co. These buildings were also used as a shearing shed in the 1900s during the Second World War and for barn dancing for the adolescents from Morgan and Taylorville.


Anon. 1919 The Late Mr F.G. Taylor, The Father of Taylorville. The Murray Pioneer 13 July n.p.

Anon. 2010 Mallyons celebrates a decade of fine food. Riverland Weekly 16 September p.10.

Nunn, J.M. 1994 History of Waikerie: Gateway to the Riverland. Waikerie: Waikerie Historical Society.

Taylor, M. 1995 Taylorville South Australia Towards 2000: “Southward Ho” to Adelaide on The Barque “Himilaya”. Mildura: Victoria.

Using Google Earth in Archaeology

Google Earth and Archaeology.

By Tom Georgonicas

For my 3rd blog post for my directed studies, I thought I would discuss the main program I  decided to use to help complete my report on potential archaeological sites buried under the car parks of Adelaide. I am sure most of you have used Google Earth at some point—either as a way to plot road trips, create maps to a site, make mud maps (I have), or for actual reports and papers. The most widely used version is the free version available online via the Google home page. The better version, dubbed ‘Google Pro’, could set you back around $300.

In relation to my directed study, the use of Google Earth has been an important part of my work. Besides using Google Earth to locate ground level open-air car parks around Adelaide, I have also used Google Earth’s image overlay function to place historic maps of Adelaide over the current satellite image of Adelaide.

Currently I have managed to find 33 car parks around the city of Adelaide that may have potential archaeological value. Google has also added a ‘time scale’ function on Google Earth. It allows the user to review past satellite images of the location they are viewing. In Adelaide, for example, I was able to observe the development in the city from the first satellite image added on Google Earth to the latest image. This function also shows which areas of the city have undergone redevelopment in the past few years.

In 2009, Dr. Adrian Myers, then a grad student from Stanford University used Google Earth for his research on Internment Camps. He quite famously in 2009 used Google Earth, satellite images, aerial photographs and other data on Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to show that the prison had been expanded during the beginning of the War on Terror. It was interesting to see how the Camp had expanded as the war progressed. Myers also states that Google Earth has been used by other researchers to investigate looting of sites over the past few years, as well as locating and recording sites that are in inaccessible or dangerous areas for field work.

In conclusion, Google Earth is a powerful tool that can be utilised in archaeology. Desktop studies, such as my directed study, have been possible because of Google Earth and its functions. But, interestingly enough, Myers also makes the  point that if archaeologists can freely access Google Earth to locate sites, then other people looking for potential sites, such as looters, can also use it.

For those interested in reading up on Google Earth’s use in archaeology and its potential. I would highly recommend these two papers.

‘Field work in the age of digital reproduction’ by Adrian Myers.


‘Camp Delta, Google Earth and the Ethics of Remote Sensing in Archaeology’ by Adrian Myers.


 and finally a link to Google Earth