So this is it everyone: my fourth and final blog post about the Linear Park at Highbury. Over the last four months I have learnt so much about a place that I never knew about, prior to this assignment, and I’ve also met some interesting people along the way.
Here’s a summary of what I found in the report:
Prior to colonisation the Kaurna people used the Highbury section of Linear Park in the colder months, because it gave them a better chance of shelter and protection from the weather. Here they could also trade with other groups, such as the Peramangk People, and use the rockshelters as a lookout for animals to hunt.
The impact of colonisation on the Kaurna People was similar to other areas within Australia, where the Indigenous People were forcibly removed from their Country. This diaspora led to the development of places known as the Walkerville Mission and Ration Station and the Park being used as a travelling route.
The Torrens River also saw changes as a result of the European colonisation of the region. Prior to human interference the Torrens used to flood, with the last major flood occurring in 1931. That’s right, the River Torrens used to flood, not flow out to sea! This is a change that was brought about by Europeans.
Linear Park didn’t escape the impact of European colonisation either. It also saw many changes, with the development of an aqueduct and, in 1982, the construction of the Park itself, which was completed in 1997. That is why today, when you visit Linear Park, it is designed the way it is, with a trail to be used for recreational purposes.
So everything was altered and change occurred, as it inevitably does. But back to the question on whether the Linear Park and the rockshelters are significant—well, the answer is yes! The rockshelters and Park are significant to the Kaurna People and later to the European settlers of the region.