Mapping Great Change
- State Library of Victoria
- Bendigo Art Gallery
- Public Record Office Victoria
- Koorie Heritage Trust
- Heyward Library La Trobe University
- Dja Dja Wurrung Cultural Centre
- Department of Primary Industries Core Library and Knowledge Resource Centre
- NGV National Gallery of Victoria
- State Library of New South Wales
- Private Collection of Dennis O'Hoy
- Private Collection of Michael Butcher
This series of films and stories is centred on a beautiful and complex map with the ungainly name: Plan of the General Survey from the Town of Malmsbury to the Porcupine Inn, from the sources of Forest Creek to Golden Point, shewing the Alexandrian Range, also Sawpit Gully, Bendigo and Bullock Creeks.
This unique hand-written and hand-painted map was made for a specific purpose, used once, then put away in a map drawer.
The map was made in 1852 at Governor Charles La Trobe’s instructions. Various staff of the Surveyor General’s Department of the Colony of Victoria worked on it, especially surveyors Robert Hoddle and William Urquhart, and draughtsman C.A.C Bayly.
It was made for the newly appointed Geological Surveyor, Alfred Selwyn, who arrived to take up his post in November 1852.
Selwyn’s position was created following the discovery of gold in Victoria, and the map is centred on Mt Alexander because of its proximity to the goldfields of Castlemaine and Bendigo.
In many ways, the map is a mirror of our times: the map is a record of the “critical years” between 1835 and 1852 in which the dispossession of Aboriginal people of Victoria was allowed to occur; we contemporary people are in the "critical decade" for making the changes necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.
If we fail to act effectively in this decade, it will be as loaded with moral and practical consequences for coming generations as the moral and policy failures of our colonial ancestors was for the Traditional Owners of the land.