In this view of Melbourne, looking south west, taken by John Noone in 1869, the West Melbourne Swamp can be seen lurking unhealthily in the background. By this time the swamp was evil-smelling and thought to be the source of disease. Before white incursions, however, the swamp enabled large gatherings of First Nations people to gather for ceremonial, social, and law sessions by providing a veritable larder of food. (Royal Historical Society Collection, S-1292.001)
The Swamp Vanishes traces the slow eradication of what was a significant resource for the Kulin Nation for millenia.
This exhibition, curated by me, was launched at the RHSV in late January 2020, but lockdowns brought a reduced opportunity to view the exhibition. As a result, the RHSV has now made the exhibition available online.
Click here to see The Swamp Vanishes