The above website makes only this reference to one of the most important members of the Pallittorreclan of the Northern Midlands Nation as per below:-
We have of relevance in Port Dalrymple only the following baptisms (ie of
aboriginal origins), preserving in quotation marks the exact spelling and
capitalisation of entries as found in the ORIGINAL baptismal register for
your edification (the brackets signify material inferred from the context):
214. “William LyttletonQuamby”, “a Native Boy of V D L”, (born before Mar
1811), baptised [Port Dalrymple], “18 March” 1811, by Knopwood.
Some 40,000 years prior to this baptism, Quamby’s precedents walked across the then existent land bridge from mainland Australia.
They settled the entirety of the Tasmanian in family groups delineated across 9 “Nations” and at least some 48 “clans”. The total of indigenous peoples in Tasmania at the time of European entry is estimated at some 6,000 to 10,000.
These clans had extensive seasonal movements driven by climatic changes and also the need to resource ochre from the few locations available to them.
Of interest is the seasonal movement of the Big River Nation from the Central Plateau via Quamby Bluff to the ochre pits in the Gog Range and at Mt Vandyke. These were most likely the Luggermairrernerpairrer clan from the Great Lake area. This movement followed a well - developed track that essentially followed the route of the current Highland Lakes Road over the Great Western Tiers.
The Pallittorreclan of the North Midlands Nation similarly sought ochre in the Gog Range and crossed the Big Nation route in the area of Quamby Bluff after travelling from the Norfolk Plains. Figure 1 (From the book “Tasmanian Aborigines, A history since 1803” by Lyndall Ryan)
These seasonal movements, on foot, would require a variety of transit zones where the clans would be able to find food, water and protection from the elements, wind, rain and snow.
It is self- evident that one such of these transit zones was most likely the 800 plus metre elevation escarpment area overlooking the Liffey Valley some 2.5 kilometres south from the Quamby Bluff area.
Not only was this area relatively flat terrain where food was readily accessible, there was a year round supply of water via springs or small creeks, and most importantly an abundance of natural rock shelters and high level vantage points or escarpment.
A schematic of this probable transit zone is shown in Figure 2. Note the proximity to Quamby Bluff and the seasonal movement routes from the Great Lake and the Norfolk Plains.
The extent of the rock shelters is substantive with some 10 known separate locations, varying in size and climatic aspect identified by this writer. There are undoubtedly others waiting to be located.
There has been little archaeological survey activity conducted in the area but one limited review conducted by the Forest PracticesUnit of the then Forestry Commission in 1991 clearly suggests that at least six locations had evidence of inhabitation – see Figure 3.
And what of the potential for artefacts that might exist on the floor of the vast escarpment area, which is some 100 hectares in extent in the immediate region?
And why the name Quamby Bluff?
It is very simple. The baptised boy, having lived with the Lyttleton family through his childhood, had left at puberty to rejoin,and indeed lead,the Pallittorre clan and conducted numerous raids on settlers and stock holders during the Black War of 1826 to 1831.
The Pallittorre clan were known to have regular camp sites near the Liffey Falls area and at the base of Quamby Bluff. They most likely also used the escarpment transit zone shown in Figure2 due the intricate shelter structure and the escarpment vantage points.
In June 1827 mass killings of the Pallittorre occurred at Liffey Falls, Quamby Brook, and Quamby Bluff areas. In total some 100 aboriginal deaths were confirmed in the areas of the broad seasonal movement routes and transit areas.
Quamby was not one of those – he was shot in 1830 – but the sacrifice of his clan is carried forward today in the naming of that imposing 1228 metre bluff.
So what do you say? This is old history and not relevant in 2012!
The identified circa 100 hectare escarpment transit area overlooking the Liffey Valley defined in Figure 2 is the location of my property (Myrtlebank), but also the site of Coupe BA388D, a proposed FT logging area, which has already been desecrated by a 750 metre metalled gravel access road.
FT is aware of the existence of some of the rock shelters. They were asked to conduct a detailed archaeological survey and the official response, supported by the FPA and the CFPO was “a survey will be conducted after the logging is completed! During the logging the areas will be taped off”!
The whole100 hectares of the escarpment is a potential archaeological site not just the shelters that FT choose or not to tape off.
I have sought assistance from the Tasmanian Heritage Council and got the following response.
Thank you for your email of 30 January 2012, concerning proposed forestry activities in the Liffey area (Your Reference: BA 388D).
I acknowledge your concerns, but need to advise that the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995 specifically precludes involvement by the Tasmanian Heritage Council.
The definition of Works in our legislation includes Part 1 (3) Works (d) ‘any removal, destruction or lopping of trees otherwise than in accordance with forest practices as defined in the Forest Practices Act 1985.’
The Heritage Council is therefore not able to offer any assistance in this instance.
The TALSC is aware of the sites and have visited the escarpment but due to the legislative constraint of the 1920 Forestry Act they are equally impotent.
And all of this for 70% pulp, perhaps 20% peeler, and 5% sawlog – with no market, a weak A$, and obvious losses for you and me the taxpayer.
And the economic nonsense of the FT pursuit of this HelshamThinnings 1990 coupe is only reinforced by the Gunn’s proposed write down of its native forest estate.
This insanity must not continue, and if Michael Mansell needed an example of why the indigenous peoples should manage some of the potential new IGA reserves – well here it is!
It is of significant interest at this point to reflect on the contents of page 350 of the referenced book. Herein the author Lyndall Ryan describes the efforts of the Labor Government under Paul Lennon in October 2004 to introduce legislation to return more than 50,000 hectares of Crown Land ton Cape Barren, Clarke, and Goose Islands to the Aboriginal community.
The Upper House was hostile to this bill (it seems they oppose everything that has long term, environmental, community and social benefits – perhaps they should be called les MarrionetteLutinContrariant).
Ms Ryan went on to note ….”…support for the measure remained on knife edge until one of the members of the Legislative Council , Paul Harriss, who had openly acknowledged his Aboriginal heritage,…had a last- minute change of heart. The bill was passed…..in the evening of 23 March amid scenes of jubilation”.
She went on to say” Paul Lennon recognized that it was a defining moment in Tasmania’s history…and the Mercury stated that the bill recognizes that for at least 40,00 years the Aboriginal people were owners of Tasmania”.
How do you reconcile these actions and statements of some 7 years ago with this one from FT and the CFPO?
“a survey will be conducted after the logging is completed! During the logging the areas will be taped off”!
Perhaps Paul Harriss might stand up again like he did in 2005 and advice his colleagues in the MLC to just consider history, pause a little, reflect on the current disaster that is FT, and define a sustainable future.
By the way for those who have forgotten, Coupe BA388 D was identified by Professor West as deserving of WHA status due continuity with the Liffey Falls WHA area and silt drainage issues.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Lyndall Ryan for allowing me to use material from her book “Tasmanian Aborigines, A history since 1803”.
This article was forwarded to the TALSC to ensure aboriginal peoples would not be offended by its content.