The Australian continent, Gondwanaland, is over 4 billion years old, the oldest on the Earth. It has been home to the Aboriginal peoples for 50,000 years, the longest continuous culture on the planet. It has been settled by Europeans for 243½ years.
For the British it was the most contrary and hostile environment for colonial settlement that they ever encountered in all their years of Empire.
My two informal talks are based mainly on the poetic response to the land - how poets have responded to our fear of it and our love of it with awe, felicity and humour. I will try to explain what we have grasped of First Nations culture, and, in the first talk, read some passages from writings of explorers and visitors, some of them lyrical, some bizarre.
I sense that encounters with the land in Australia and Canada have both similarities and differences. I hope that some responses from the Australian experience might rhyme with yours.
(Part 2 on July 15)
Storry Walton has worked in theatre, radio, television, and film, in the fields of drama, literature, documentary, rural affairs, music, and performing and fine arts management, variously as a producer, director, feature writer, educator, CEO and Chair. He is a writer and has travelled widely through the deserts and rangelands of remote Australia and written feature articles, a book and produced television documentaries about its life and its people for ABC Australia and BBC Television