Tag Archives: Gippsland

Australian coverage of McMillan name change

screen-shot-2016-12-10-at-20-49-11Australia’s national public broadcasting network SBS ran a segment about the ongoing campaign to change the name of the McMillan Electorate in Victoria, now that McMillan’s role in the brutal massacres of the Gippsland ‘black war’ has become more widely known and accepted. Historian Peter Gardner, Liberal MP Russell Broadbent, Koorie heritage consultant (and Gunaikurnai man) Russell Mullett and myself were all interviewed by SBS reporter Sacha Payne. Watch it and read the accompanying article here.

 

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Wallung Githa Unsettled: gallery opening

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While travelling in Gippsland researching my book Thicker Than Water (to be published Spring 2016, by HarperCollins, plug plug), I fell in with the aboriginal artist Steaphan Paton and the photographer Cam Cope, both born and bred in the area.

Together we collaborated on a project riffing on the myth of the captive white woman of Gippsland, a strange and disturbing episode in Australian colonial history in which my relative Angus McMillan is inextricably tangled.

An exhibition of the series of photographs produced by us during a road trip through historically significant Gippsland sites – as well as a solo installation by Steaphan – is now on show at the Anna Pappas Gallery in Prahran, Melbourne, on until 9 May 2015.

A glossy zine containing images from the project as well as writing on the subject of the white woman and the frontier violence of 1840s Gippsland has also been produced. It will be on sale at the art book fair at the National Gallery of Victoria; any remaining copies I imagine will soon appear for sale on Cam’s handy web-shop here.

Images from the project have been featured in Art Collector magazine in Australia.

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Tracing the Butcher of Gippsland

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Currently I’m working on the first draft of a family memoir in which I retrace the story of my great-great-great uncle, Angus McMillan, who fled Scotland during the Highland Clearances and became a celebrated explorer in Gippsland, Australia – only to reenact brutal ‘clearances’ of his own, upon the local aboriginal people.

I have been lucky enough to receive funding from both Creative Scotland (through their Quality Production programme) and Arts Trust Scotland (through their Emerging Artists programme), which has enabled me to visit Gippsland myself to conduct interviews, follow McMillan’s original exploratory routes, and gain insight into the problems affecting the Gunai people today as a direct result of McMillan and his peers’ actions.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this project – or if you have some information which you’d like to share – I’d love to hear from you. I also keep an Amazon wishlist of books I’d like to acquire for research purposes – so if you’d like to make a contribution I’d be delighted!

A girl’s got to eat so I’m still taking commissions – do get in touch if you’ve got some work for me!

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