Author Archives: namonk

Rockin’ Rocky

Rocky Hills Ruins

Rocky Hills Ruins

Hi guys, I’ve finished my placement and have had an absolutely amazing time working with Heritage Tasmania during their re-evaluation of heritage listed sites.

One of the sites that I worked on during the re-evaluation was known as Rocky Hills Probation Station, a station that was set up during the 1840s and followed the, unique to Tasmania, probation system.

I began to work on this listing by researching the probation system and the history behind probation stations in Tasmania. This required reading previous reports on the station and examining surveyor and satellite maps of the site.

An issue with this information was that some of the data was not included and resulted in the assumption that there would be limited archaeological potential at the site, which we later learned was an incorrect assumption.

When we arrived on site we were given a tour of the site by one of the land owners. We spent most of the day at this site and as a result we were unable to visit the other properties that also contained the remains of the Rocky Hills Probation Station. At the end of the day another trip was planned, which I was unable to take part in due to my placement finishing.

I found that this trip to Rocky Hills, and this practicum overall, was a learning experience that I would recommend to anyone who has the opportunity!

Rocky Hills ruins 2

Perfect Placement

Last month Heritage Tasmania welcomed me into their office to undertake my placement by contributing to the revaluation of heritage listed sites. Here, I learnt about the inside workings of heritage divisions and what Heritage Tasmania does for the community through the protection of Tasmanian and Australian heritage.

I began placement not fully understanding what the workings of a Heritage division did and I am leaving with a wealth of knowledge on the division’s inner workings and the type of people that contribute their knowledge to the development and protection of local heritage. My host Sherrie-Lee Evans had been amazing during the placement, teaching me about the intricacies of archaeology in heritage and the amount of research, resources, and time that is needed for updating heritage lists within the office.

Of the many things that I learnt one thing that stood out was that Tasmania used both the assignment system and probation system for their convicts, something not explained during my education at University. Therefore, I think that this placement has opened my eyes to the convict history of Australia.

Overall, I believe that this practicum has been one of the most valuable aspects of my archaeology degree and without it I’m sure that I would be worse off. Heritage Tasmania does amazing work for the community and the people within it are inspiring to work with.


The Red Bridge built by convicts.

We visited the bridge to determine if previously recorded boundaries for the protection of the site were accurate.

Photo by John Stephenson.

Leaving Linear

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.

Troublin’ Torrens

So it’s me again in my exploration of the significance of the Highbury section of Torrens Linear Park. What I have been up to in the last semester is a cross between finding information regarding the Torrens and pulling my hair out in search of information that doesn’t exist or is so difficult to find that it compares to a needle in a haystack. What I have found is interesting though. The Torrens Linear Park is the largest hills to coast Park in Australia and is often called ‘The Trail’, which I think gives it a debonair sound.

One of the issues that I have is that no one knows where it is. People who have lived in Adelaide their whole lives know nothing about it. This includes my housemates, librarians and friends who have no idea what I’m talking about when I refer to this place. So for those that don’t know what I’ve been talking about for the last couple of weeks or have only just read this blog post, this is for you. Highbury is located near Tea Tree Gully, a suburb in the northern regions of Adelaide. This is the area that I am looking at:

Highbury Linear Park

Highbury Linear Park

See that faded area and the yellow pin that says Highbury Linear Park? Well, that’s the area I’ve been talking about.

So what I have found in the last couple of months is information about the Kaurna people and Linear Park as a whole, or different sections that do not include Highbury, and general details about the Torrens River, but, again, nothing focused in the area I want.

Come back Tuesday for my fourth and final blog that will include a more positive and in-depth look at the information I have found about this park and its significance.

Torrens Tour

A couple of weeks ago I told everyone that I would continue on with my discussion about my directed study looking at Highbury’s Torrens Linear Park. I also mentioned that I would include information regarding the tour of the park that I had with my industry partner, Lea Crosby. So here goes.

I met Lea around 9am and we made our way to Highbury’s Torrens Linear Park, a park I had never been to, where we commenced our tour of the site and discussed significant features of the park. The very first feature and the location where we began our tour was this tree (pictured below) which is quantum to the local Kaurna people.

Highbury Torrens Linear Park

After noting this feature we then continued walking through the park looking at the flora and fauna on the way. We also, luckily, met Mick Medic, a horticulturalist, who explained the local fauna and flora to us, as well as giving us a tour of Boord House (below).

Taken a the site of the tree (on the right you can see the tree)

Taken at the site of the tree (on the right you can see the tree)

Boort House

Boord House

Lea and I then continued our tour by taking another path to view the rockshelters, where we discussed their significance to the local Indigenous population.

rockshelters #2

After inspecting the rockshelters we then strolled along another path back to the tree and went our separate ways.

The tour of Highbury’s Torrens Linear Park gave me an impression of the overall site and provided me with information regarding the local flora and fauna that could  possibly have been used by the Indigenous population prior to European settlement.

By Nicole Monk