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  • Published 20160421
  • ISBN: 978-1-925240-81-8
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

WE’RE TWELVE DAYS’ walk from the nearest road, on an island on the edge of the world. There’s no official bushwalking track, although at times there is a faint trail, a sign that for an hour or two we don’t have to battle the impossible scrub of south-west Tasmania. Some of the hills and creeks behind us have never been named by Europeans – they are reduced to contour lines on maps. ‘Scrub,’ says the map. ‘Marsh.’ No large group has gathered on this beach since Aboriginal people more than a hundred and fifty years ago. They are no longer here, a horror in which my ancestors were complicit at best.

I’m standing on one of the huge middens the Aboriginal people left behind. Two metres deep and at least fifty metres long, it’s a shifting bank of shells with a few bones and flints mixed in – the remains of long-forgotten meals. The bones have been charred by fire. The flints look quite sharp and suited to the palm of a hand. 

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About the author

Cathy Alexander

Cathy Alexander worked as a journalist for eight years covering politics and the environment, and is now a research fellow at the University of...

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