This episode is an overview of the podcast and how it’s going to work, so you can decide if it’s the right podcast for you. I acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a way of showing awareness of and respect for the traditional custodians of the land upon which I live.
The History of Australia Podcast
Hello and welcome to The History of Australia Podtcast, Episode 0 Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country.
As the name suggests, this is a podcast about the history of Australia. In this episode I’m going to give you an overview of the podcast and how it’s going to work, so you can decide if it’s the right podcast for you.
Australia’s history is really something of immense global significance. It’s a story of true firsts: first ocean voyage, first drawing, first painting, first burial, first religion, first history, first story, and the list just continues. If you’ve ever wonder when and how and why humans developed the unique skills and aptitudes that really distinguish us from other life, you need to know the history of Australia.
My name is Jasmin O’Connor. As I am reading, I am sitting in my apartment in Wolli Creek, Sydney NSW. To my north is Wolli Creek, my East, the Cooks River (Goolay’yari, meaning ‘pelican’ in Dharug language), the South East, Botany Bay (Ka-may) and to the South is the Georges River (Tucoerah River). This is the traditional land of the Bidjigal Clan. Bidjigal means plains-dweller in the Dharug language, and the Bidjigal are the indigenous people who have been the traditional custodians of this land back to the beginning of remembrance. The most renowned of the Bidjigal Clan is the great warrior Pemulwuy, a fearsome resistance fighter who survived being shot. Seven. Times. His story is amazing and I can’t wait to share it, though there is a hellavalot of history to get through before then.
I acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people listening to this podcast and I pay respects to Elders past and present. I acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a way of showing awareness of and respect for the traditional custodians of the land upon which I live.
I also recognise that in endeavouring to tell a history of Australia, I will be telling a history of the indigenous people, tribes and nations who have maintained a continuing connection to this land, as far as the archaeological record has verified, for more than 60,000 years. In telling this story, one of my aims is to acknowledge and amplify the histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I hope this is a space where stories can be told, many narratives contribute to the whole, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel they are credited for their ideas, their stories, their culture and their history. If I’m not doing that, I have a website, historyofaustraliapodcast.com, please leave me feedback and let me know how I can improve. I welcome and am thankful for all feedback.
In that spirit, the first person I need to acknowledge is Kathleen Buzzacott, who is the artist behind the cover image of this podcast. The painting is titled ‘Children playing with bearded dragons’ and was a commission work that she created for me during a visit to Alice Springs in 2016. Kathleen is an artist, poet, designer and entrepreneur of Pitjantjatjara, Scottish and English heritage. She has a beautiful studio near Alice Springs, also known as Mparntwe (m'barn-twa) and the West MacDonnell Ranges Tjoritja ( CHOOR-IT-JA).
I’ve started this podcast because I am an avid fan of other narrative history podcasts, like The History of Rome and The History of Byzantium, however I couldn’t find a similar podcast for my home country. As a second best, I started listening to the History of Aotearoa New Zealand and when I heard that Thomas started his podcast for about the same reasons, that encouraged me to give this a crack.
So, this podcast will also be a narrative history. That is, I will be telling a story starting with the dawn of the Australian land mass, and moving forward through time until I reach the year 2000. At that point the podcast will finish. Inspired by the style of Thomas’ podcast, and the rich oral history tradition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of this country, I will be covering pre-colonial history including reading Dreamtime stories. I will also cover colonial history, including the stories that have come to define the Australian identity.
I will aim for each podcast to be roughly 15-30 minutes. I’m hoping to establish a regular pattern of releasing new episodes on a fortnightly basis. That said, this is a passion project. I work full time as an economist, and at time of recording COVID-19 is presenting one of the most testing economic challenges faced by this country, so I most certainly won’t be relinquishing my day job any time soon. I will thank you in advance for your patience with any late episodes.
So I am only an amateur historian, this is not my day job and I’m bound to make mistakes! Again, when you pick these up, leave me feedback at historyofaustraliapodcast.com and I’ll try to make it right.
A few more points, I will be releasing transcripts of each episode online on my website historyofaustraliapodcast.com. They will be available to download as soon as each new episode is released. If there is anything else I can do to make this podcast more inclusive for all people, please let me know.
Each transcript will also contain a bibliography for that episode, including any acknowledgements of people that I have mentioned during the episode.
That’s all for now. Thanks for sticking around for this welcome and Acknowledgement of Country. If you think this is the right podcast for you, I encourage you to check out Episode 1 - Formation. In Episode 1 I trace the geological origins of Australia from the Precambrian Eon. We will also be looking at one very awesome animal, the Dicynodont, that predates even the dinosaurs, and has an equally juicy palaeontological story to match.
Until then, stay safe and see you again soon.
Kathleen Buzzacott (cover art) https://kathleenbuzzacott.com.au/
National Museum of Australia, ‘Defining Moments in Australian History’,
https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/defining-moments-timeline (Accessed 15 July 2020)
Australian National University, ‘Teaching Place Names’,
http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p17331/html/ch01.xhtml (Accessed 15 July 2020)