A new book edited by retired Blue Mountains priest and archaeologist Dr Eugene Stockton has been published.
Aboriginal Heritage of the Blue Mountains – Recent Research and Reflections, edited by Kelvin Knox and Fr Eugene, “gathers together some new research, stories and reflections about the Mountains’ Aboriginal inhabitants and their Heritage,” the book explains.
Aboriginal Heritage of the Blue Mountains is the third volume published by the Blue Mountains Education and Research Trust, whom Fr Eugene was the founder, which focuses on Aboriginal history and archaeology.
The book was launched on Sunday 5 May at Our Lady of the Nativity School, Lawson, and was hosted by the Blue Mountains Education and Research Trust. Contributors to the book including Wayne Brennan and Dr Jim Smith spoke at the launch, as well as NSW State Member for the Blue Mountains Trish Doyle.
“Aboriginal Heritage of the Blue Mountains takes us on a journey from deep time to the present, it delves into a crevice of consciousness and conscience and just like the surfacing of an epiphany, an ancient truth emerges: the Greater Blue Mountains is an Aboriginal Place,” contributor Kelvin Knox wrote.
Following the launch, Trish Doyle MP spoke in the NSW Legislative Assembly about the launch of the book.
“This time was authored by Bruce Cameron, Michael Jackson, Evan Yanna Muru Gallard, Grace Karskens, Wayne R. Brennan, Jim Smith and Eugene Stockton; edited by Kelvin Knox and Reverend Dr Eugene Stockton; and published by the Blue Mountains Education and Research Trust from Lawson. Its design and layout was by Allan Walsh of Hazelbrook and it was printed by Bennetts of Leura. This is indeed a truly local publication,” she said.
“I pay tribute to the many authors who pulled together this fabulous publication. People have inhabited Australia for thousands of years. At the foot of the Blue Mountains, human occupation dates from up to 50,000 years ago. In 1788 the way of life for Aboriginal people living in the mountains irrevocably changed. However, their cultural heritage, handed down from ancient generations, has remained in the form of occupation sites, arts, artefacts, axe-grinding grooves, scar trees, stone arrangements and other traces of their presence in the landscape. That heritage also includes language, stories, memories and ceremonies. It is a beautiful, rich area and I pay tribute to the Aboriginal heritage of the Blue Mountains and the people telling those important stories.
“Finally, I pay tribute to the great Eugene Stockton. His pioneering archaeological investigations between Blackheath and the Nepean River have laid the groundwork for understanding the Aboriginal history of the Blue Mountains. He is a remarkable man and this is a remarkable publication,” she told NSW Parliament.
Aboriginal Heritage of the Blue Mountains can be purchased online from www.bmert.org.