Dave Witty is a Melbourne-based writer. His first book, What The Trees See, will be published in 2023 by Monash University Publishing. His work has appeared in Meanjin and Island, among others.
The dancing ground
Non-fictionAs I sat by the water, I imagined the scene: John Batman handing out the scissors and knives, his comrades distributing the tomahawks, blankets, handkerchiefs and shirts. The eight Ngurungaeta are present, Wurundjerichiefs named Bungarie, Yanyan, Moowhip, Mommarmalar, Cooloolock. The three brothers called Jagajaga. They each pour soil into Batman’s hands before signing a document they could not have understood, a deed that suggested the transfer of over 600,000 acres.
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