Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Leap'n Lizards

I headed out the door this morning for a quick little bush run. I only wanted about 45 minutes. I ran down Fuller Street again towards Lane Cove National Park. Fuller Street is very steep – all downhill going to the park. As such, it only takes me about 4 minutes to get to the park.

Once at the park I stayed on the trail. There were not many people at the park and I noticed quickly that the lizards were out in force. They were basking all along the trail – some were on rocks near the trail but most were on the trail. They react pretty slowly to an approaching running. They also blend in to the surrounding very well. I could see the vegetation on both sides of the trial most as I passed. There was also more than one occasion where I had to huddle one of these lizards. Just to be clear, these are pretty bit lizards – like at least a foot long and with their tails more like 3 feet long. Yeah – big lizards were everywhere.

After my run my sister and I headed back to Darling Harbour in downtown Sydney. We visited the Australian National Maritime Museum. There were several real naval vessels (a Destroyer Class ship called the HMAS Vampire - damn cool name for a ship) as well as a full sized replica of the HMB Endeavour (a sailing ship from the 1700’s). In addition there was more information on Aboriginal peoples and lots of stuff on navigation. There was also an exhibit about ‘Britain’s Child Migrants’.

From the 1860s, more than 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries through child migration schemes. They were sent by charitable and religious organisations, with government support, in the belief that their lives would improve, and that they would provide much-needed labour and increase the population.

Few were orphans; many came from families who were unable to care for them. The lives of these children changed dramatically and fortunes varied. Some succeeded in creating new futures. Others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. All experienced disruption and separation from family and homeland.

Child migration schemes received criticism from the outset, yet continued until the 1960s. Formal apologies were made by the Australian Government in 2009 and the British Government in 2010 but many former child migrants and their families are still coming to terms with their experiences.
They were shipping kids to far off lands for hard labor and increase white people in these countries.  Many were lied to and told that their parents were dead and deceived into thinking that they were going to have a great time.  Some thought they were going to get to ride horses and kangaroos and pick fresh fruit from trees.  This was the governments and the churches.  Nice.
It was a nice museum.

I had planned on another run in the late afternoon after walking the kids home from school. However a storm blew in and it rained rather hard for about an hour. I had lost my inclination to run.

Woven jellies

Aboriginal coffins

Cockle Bay

Motorbike parking

Street painter

Christmas tree's are up already


misszippy said...

There's a great movie about the whole project to relocate these kids called Rabbit Proof Fence. True story about a pair of sisters who were taken from their families and then literally walked over 1,000 miles to get back. Amazing story.

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing James. It is so sad what has happened to all of those children...heart breaking.

Lovely pictures:)

Luke said...

What a cool day! When I took an institutional corrections course in school I remember we did a chapter on sending criminals thier too.

Barbie said...

Rabbit Proof Fence is a must to watch, good call misszippy. Awesome movie. And wasn't yesterdays storm horrendous.

lindsay said...

ahh the government, always corrupt. so sad! loved the pics--

Francine said...

Rabbit Proof Fence is about the forced-separation of aboriginal children from their families within Australia. Although tragic, this is a different story and these children were already in and from Australia.
The exhibit at the Maritime Museum was about the migration of white children from the UK to Australia and Canada. These children were sent on boats to Australia and Canada in order to increase the white stock of those populations as well as to provide labor for the farms, etc.
Both are very tragic stories and the effected children and families are still facing the conseuqences of these decisions. The Australian government has officially apologized for its role in both events and has even made a national day, called Sorry Day, to commemorate the way aboriginal peoples were treated in Australia.