Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item)(under consideration) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item)(under consideration)

Item details

Name of item: Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item)(under consideration)
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Aboriginal
Category: Other - Aboriginal
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1  1157811
LOT1  781732

Statement of significance:

The Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item) is of state heritage significance as an important record of aspects of the traditional life of the Aboriginal people of NSW. The collection is specially associated with the Birpai people and with Thomas Dick, an oyster grower, local historian, naturalist and amateur photographer. Although the nature of the collection is conditioned by Dick's non-Aboriginality, as a re-creation of traditional practices the collection constitutes an ethnographic record that is of state heritage significance. It is also of state significance in illustrating the determination of Aboriginal people to preserve an understanding of traditional practices in the face of deprivation of Country and government-enforced 'protection' policies. As a rare co-operative creation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of its period, the collection is of state heritage significance as a resource for further research into the traditional life of the Aboriginal people of NSW. The collection is of state heritage significance in demonstrating the manner in which an early twentieth century amateur regional photographer sought to compare and contrast past and present NSW Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal landscapes. The collection is of state significance in demonstrating a degree of technical skill and aesthetic insight unusual for a NSW amateur photographer of the time, and is of local heritage significance in its importance to the sense of place and cultural identity of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities of the Hastings District.
Date significance updated: 15 Jan 20
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Physical description: The Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item) consists of hundreds of gelatin silver emulsion dry glass plate photographic negatives, together with glass magic lantern slides, taken c.1910 - c. 1923. These illustrate aspects of the traditional life of the Aboriginal people in the Hastings District of New South Wales. They also illustrate Hastings District landscapes and townscapes, seeking to compare and contrast past and present land uses and to link these with different Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal attitudes to land use. Much of the collection depicts Aboriginal people, mainly Birpai [Biripi], performing re-enactments of traditional activities at sites in and around the Hastings and MacLeay districts. These sites include Yarras; Boony Hills; Mount Seaview; Point Plomer; Kooloonbung Creek; Tacking Point beach, Shelly Beach and Mud Creek. The remainder of the collection depicts landscapes and townscapes of the Hastings District.

The glass plate negatives and glass lantern slides are dispersed across a range of stakeholders. These include: Mr Thomas Dick, a descendant of the late Thomas Dick (approximately 300 lantern slides); the Australian Museum (138 negatives); the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) (two negatives); the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (55 negatives); and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in the University of Cambridge. Of the lantern slides, approximately 100 depict Hastings District landscapes and townscapes. The remainder of the slides, together with the glass negatives, have Aboriginal themes.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Thomas Dick is understood to have taken hundreds of glass plate negatives, some of which he transferred to magic lantern slides, of Aboriginal people and sites of the Hastings River District, in addition to landscapes and townscapes of the region. During his lifetime he is known to have donated some negatives to the Australian Museum, Sydney. He is also thought to have donated some negatives to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in the University of Cambridge. After the death of Thomas Dick, some of his relatives transferred glass plate negatives to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) and to the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. In 2015, some 300 magic lantern slides, until then forgotten by the family, were discovered at a Port Macquarie property. These have recently been reboxed, and wrapped in acid-free paper. An unknown number of slides, said to have been cracked or otherwise damaged, are understood to have been discarded before the involvement of OEH. An unknown number of photographic prints are held by various entities and individuals. As copyright to the images has long since expired, the creation and distribution of prints is uncontrolled.

History

Historical notes: Pre-contact and post-contact Aboriginal custodianship
The Birpai people are the traditional custodians of the Hastings River District. Practising firestick farming and benefitting from traditional trade routes, they were skilled hunters, gatherers and fishers who engaged with coast and hinterland as dictated by seasons and food sources. (Urban, p.19; McLachlan, pp.85-94) Each clan moved seasonally throughout its territory in accordance with their cultural obligations and responsibilities. (John Health, Liz Gillroy and Sue Hodges Productions, p.2)

This situation was gradually transformed by the arrival of Europeans. Even before the establishment in 1821 of the Port Macquarie convict station, many Birpai had died from European diseases, although other 'eruptive disease', probably smallpox, followed in 1831 - 1832. (Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 3 January 1832, p.3) Violence followed the seizure of Birpai lands and food sources. This caused casualties on both sides, although the Birpai had the worst of the fighting. (McLachlan, 1988, pp. 144-149, 176-178, 179-182) Several massacres, such as that at Blackman's Point, are known to have occurred, drawing the condemnation of the press. (Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany, 6 February 1838; Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 19 January 1839, p.2)

Despite the fighting, and perhaps because of continuing social contact between convicts, ex-convicts and Birpai women, there developed a considerable degree of interaction between the communities, with many Birpai adopting European names and customs. Yet friction continued. Some Birpai found that promised grants of land to areas they had themselves cleared were not in fact made, and from the 1840s onward many people were moved onto Aboriginal Protection Board reserves despite their own wishes. Others, more fortunate, became skilled stockmen, timber getters, horse breakers and labourers, particularly during the 1850s when European workers left for the gold diggings. Some families moved into the growing townships of the district, doing what they could to preserve aspects of traditional life. (Urban, pp.31-34, 56-59; Solling, pp.25, 33-37; Ramsland, 1987, pp.180-189)

After about 1900, however, public policy hardened, partially because of government 'protection' policies; for the new North Coast Railway encouraged visits from Sydney officials. Some reserves and town camps were repossessed without consultation, while many Birpai were relocated to missions at Burnt Bridge, Green Hills and Purfleet. (Ramsland, 1989, pp.3-13; Solling, pp.36-37) The Aborigines Protection Act 1909 (NSW), particularly after its 1915 and 1918 amendments, empowered the Aborigines Protection Board to remove Aboriginal children from their parents. The ruthless use of this power created a cruel legacy of family dislocation, one that endures still. In recent decades the Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council has been active in preserving and reinvigorating the Birpai relationship with Country, culture and community.

European exploration and settlement

Settlers and convicts
In 1818, and again in 1819 and 1820, colonial surveyor John Oxley led exploratory parties into the Hastings District, and had some interaction with the Birpai. The transfer of the Newcastle penal station to Port Macquarie brought with it a considerable number of convicts and troops. In 1830 the district was opened to free settlement, although a convict labour force was maintained for public works. Farming, timber getting and fishing long formed the basis of local industry, but from the 1880s oyster growers established extensive farms along the Hastings River. (Hastings District Historical Society, 1983, p.1-6, 34-35, 41)

Thomas Dick
Thomas Dick, born at Walcha NSW in 1877, was an ordinary man who, with the support of his wife Jane Dick, nee Freedman, achieved extraordinary things. The son of a tanner turned oyster farmer, he lived most of his life in Port Macquarie, to which his grandfather had come in 1841. Dick became a not only a successful oyster culturist (as oyster farmers were known), but also a diver; boat builder; naturalist; agriculturalist; and anthropologist. He was much interested in Hastings District history and culture, not least because of his father's previous interest in Birpai culture. (Dawson, pp.3-7)

Dick's interests brought him into contact with Theodore Roughley, an economic zoologist with a special interest in fisheries, who helped him to channel his enthusiasms. (Bernard Harte, 'History Preserved in Photographic Collection', Port Macquarie News, 23 March 1981; Armidale Express, 2 December 2015)

Disquieted by the sufferings of the Birpai, not least because of their eviction from town camps, Dick employed some of them and convinced others to do so as well. Dick became curious as to the traditional life of the Birpai, and decided to both investigate and record as much as possible of their traditional life. ('Historic Photo Collection', Port Macquarie News, 30 March 2016; Dawson, 2014, pp.23-24) Advised by Roughley, from about 1910 Dick purchased Thornton-Pickard and Ruby Reflex cameras and established a darkroom in which to develop dry glass plate negatives and to transfer images to glass magic lantern slides. Apparently well satisfied with the clarity of glass plate photography, he did not adopt the cellulose film technology that was fast replacing it.

With the assistance of Birpai man Charlie Murray and others, Dick took hundreds of photographs of Aboriginal people engaged in traditional activities, and also captured views of traditional sites such as shell middens. (Bernard Harte, 'History Preserved in Photographic Collection', Port Macquarie News, 23 March 1981; McBryde, p.140) Most, but not all, of those who posed for Thomas Dick appear to have been Birpai. (Harte) These scenes, and the captions he wrote, demonstrate a deep appreciation and concern for the Birpai people and their culture. This led him, also, to preserve large number of traditional relics, including weapons and implements. In 1918 this collection was described as 'one of the finest collections of native weapons and curios in Australia'. (MacLeay Chronicle, 30 October 1918, p.4)

Dick sought out and journeyed with local Aboriginal people while learning what he could of their law, customs and skills, and lectured in local centres on district history in 'decided tribute to the intelligence of the natives'. These sessions included information as to the European history of the region, and were supported by magic lantern slides of landscapes and townscapes. (MacLeay Chronicle, 30 October 1918, p.4) One of Dick's photographs, of a local Aboriginal man, was selected by the Hon. John Fitzgerald, a social reformer and former Solicitor-General of NSW, as the model for a statue intended for erection in London. (MacLeay Chronicle, 30 October 1918, p.4) It would appear that the statue was never completed.

In 1915 the Royal Society of New South Wales published a learned paper by Dick. This concerned Aboriginal shields, and led to Dick's being elected to Society membership. The following year the Department of Fisheries, wishing to develop NSW oyster farming, published an article by Dick on the life cycle of the Sydney Rock Oyster. (The Port Macquarie News and Hastings River Advocate, 4 March 2016, p.5) Dick, T. (1915) 'The Origin of the Heliman or Shield of the New South Wales Coastal Aborigines', Journal of the Royal Society of NSW, Vol. 49, pp. 282-288 Dick, T. (1916) 'The Spawning of the Common Oyster', Appendix to Annual Report on Fisheries NSW for 1915, pp. 51-53) Through these Dick came to the attention of the Australian Museum, to which he donated some negatives, and which in the 1920s produced annotated post cards of some of his photographs.

Dick, moreover, developed a close relationship with botanist R.T. Baker, Curator of the Technological Museum, Sydney (now the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences), where his friend Roughley had by then taken up an appointment. Baker referred to some of Dick's observations and specimens in his own 1915 paper on mangrove ecology, while Roughley appears to have used Dick's work in his own scholarly publications. (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, Australian National Herbarium, Biographical Notes: 'Dick, Thomas (fl. 1910 - 1927)' Dick appears to have conducted experiments in the long-distance transport of oysters, apparently at the behest of the South African government, while historians, geographers and geologists also sought him out. (Dawson, pp.20-22)

Never one to confine his interests, Dick was active in the local agricultural show society, flower show society, regatta club, Church of England and local government, and was a Justice of the Peace. He collected an extensive range of artefacts associated with the early years of European settlement in the Hastings district and wrote historical articles for the local press, although his ambition to publish a photographically-illustrated history of Port Macquarie and district remained unfulfilled. ('Obituary: Mr T. Dick', Port Macquarie News, 21 May 1927, p.5; Harte) Dick's special interest in marine life stimulated his collection such rare specimens as lightning-fused sand, which he preserved in glass jars. He also evolved a novel but untenable theory that mineral ores and precious stones could be formed from marine organisms. (Tony Dawson, Thomas Dick, pp.31-32)

On Friday 13 May 1927, his 50th birthday, Thomas Dick was drowned near Tacking Point Lighthouse, generating much local interest and sympathy. (Port Macquarie News, 'Coroner's Inquest', 28 May 1927, p.5) It was Dick's spirit of inquiry that him, although now in indifferent health, to spend much time around local beaches and rock shelves, and may perhaps explain his presence at Tacking Point at the time of his death. (Dawson) Some members of his family believed that Dick had been caught unawares by a large wave. Whatever the truth, the district had lost one of its leading citizens. (Harte)
In the aftermath of Dick's death, Jane, bitter at the loss of Thomas and frustrated that his involvement with the Aboriginal community had been denigrated by some townspeople, destroyed not only his collection of artefacts but also many negatives. Dick's large collection of natural specimens was dispersed. (Information supplied by J. Dick, 26 May 17; Gorter, p.108; 'Historic Photo Collection', Port Macquarie News, 30 March 2016) Although Raymond Dick, who remained interested in his father's work, shared his knowledge with scholars, some other family members spoke little about Thomas Dick and his achievements. (John Dick 26 May 2017; Heath, Gilroy and Hodges, p.16) In 2015, almost nine decades after Dick's demise, a large deposit of his lantern slides was discovered by one of Dick's grandsons, Thomas Dick (jnr), at his Port Macquarie home. ('Forgotten 1920s Photos reveal Insight into Coastal Aboriginal People', ABCTV, 7.30 Report, 24 November 2015) Of these 300-odd slides, long stored in a rusting metal box, approximately 200 depict Aboriginal people, with the remainder being scenes of the Hastings River District. The deposit is most probably associated with Dick's activities as a voluntary lecturer.

The photographic work of Thomas Dick
While Dick's interests have been described as 'intense and all-embracing', it was photography that provided the preferred medium for his ideas. (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria) Dick hoped that his work would 'produce scenes described by the early explorers such as Oxley'. It was this, together with a desire to use photography in comparing and contrasting past and present land uses, seeking to link these with differences in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal attitudes to land use, that motivated Dick in his landscape and townscape photography. In the context of time and place, Dick's work appears to have had no Australian parallels.

The Aboriginal people with whom Dick was in contact wore European dress and had perforce to span two cultures. This may have made them willing to pose for photographs in something like their traditional attire. These scenes were carefully composed by Dick so as to allow the demonstration of traditional arts and customs such as hunting, fishing and other practices, often using tools, weapons, canoes, ornaments and the like apparently reconstructed from traditional knowledge. This, as Isabel McBryde has suggested, raises questions as to how far the scenes demonstrate Birpai culture as Dick wished it to be, as distinct from the way it actually was. (Isabel McBryde, 'Thomas Dick's Photographic Vision', in Ian Donaldson and Tamsin Donaldson, Seeing the First Australians, Sydney, 1985) There is, however, reliable evidence that, despite their adaptation to European lifestyles, many Birpai during the period of Dick's photographic activity had carefully preserved traditional knowledge and behaviours. (John Heath, Liz Gillroy and Sue Hodges Productions, p.5) Birpai known to have done so include George 'Possum' Davis; 'Ranji'; and Bunyah Jimmy. (Urban, pp.31-33) The photographs may be taken as demonstrating the determination of Aboriginal people to preserve, in the face of deprivation of Country and government-enforced 'protection' policies, an understanding of their traditional practices.

Dick may have been motivated by 19th century ethnographers who believed they were watching the 'dying embers' of a supposedly almost extinct culture. (Miller, p. xv) He may also have been influenced by photographers such as John Lindt, Kerry & Company; by Harold Cazneaux of Melbourne; and also by travelling postcard photographers. (McBryde, pp.140, 161; John Heath, Liz Gillroy and Sue Hodges, p. 6) There is no evidence that Dick was aware of the work of John Tunney, a surveyor's assistant turned field agent for the Western Australian Museum, who between 1898 and 1906 took an unknown, but certainly large, number of glass plate negative photographs of Aboriginal people of south-west Western Australia, the Kimberley and Arnhem Land. Tunney, in any case, was prescriptively instructed by the Bernard Woodward, director of the museum, as to his photography; moreover, he had little interest in Aboriginal people or their culture: nor did such develop in the course of his work, which appears to have been undertaken strictly by way of making a living. Tunney's work concentrated on the ceremonial markings of Aboriginal people, and very seldom depicted aspects of traditional life. Tunney had little professional interest in photography; did not develop his own plates; and frequently overexposed scenes. (Chadwick, Ross, pp.255-277)

Aboriginal people appearing in Dick's photographs include Charlie Murray; Charlie's wife Nellie Dungay and daughter Melda; Peter Budge; Neil Morcom; Mary Morcom and two of their children; and Mary Ann Bugg (Dungay) and her children Billy Bugg, Mary Bugg and Grace Bugg. That two Birpai also took part in a procession, organised by Dick, to commemorate the centenary of John Oxley's first expedition, provides further evidence of this trust. (Tony Dawson, Thomas Dick, pp.15, 24) With the exception of one man from the Macleay River, those included in the photographs appear to have been Birpai. Dick's four children, and particularly his eldest son, Raymond, often accompanied Thomas on his photographic expeditions by motor car. Raymond Dick claimed that, while some Aboriginal people may have been paid for their cooperation, all were most willing to participate. (Harte)

Dick's photographs depict Aboriginal people fishing, hunting and gathering; examples of canoe, shield, adze, stone tool and spear production; food preparation and cooking techniques; fresh water source; scarred trees; weapons; traditional punishment; landscape; tree climbing techniques; facial portraits; full portraits of Aboriginal people, in some cases displaying corresponding body and shield paint.

As anthropologist Carol Cooper has observed, in considering the documentation of one culture by another it vital to consider the role of the recorder as 'viewer', 'interpreter' or 'image maker'; such pictorial sources can be regarded as authentic evidence of traditional life only by researching their non-Aboriginal recorders. (Carol Cooper, 'Early Photographs of Aborigines in the Picture Collection', in The La Trobe Journal, No. 43, Autumn 1989, pp.32-35) Thomas Dick's photographs must, therefore, provide an insight into the life and times of Thomas Dick as much as into the life and times of his subjects. In this connection that Dick's own assertions are useful, showing that while he shared some of the prejudices of non-Indigenous people of his time, his interest in traditional Aboriginal culture was not merely cursory, selfish and commercial. In a 1923 letter to Albert Longman, director of the Queensland Museum, he wrote that:

'I set out years ago to collect and write the history of these Aborigines, and get together, not only a fine collection of photos, but also a fine collection of implements etc., and not the least was a remarkable amount of information.
I went into the mountains with them, gained their confidence and their secrets connected with their laws, and in some instances the information was only given with the understanding that it would only [sic] be published until after death.
I was fortunate for some of the old men were most intelligent and they recognised that their race was run, as it were, so they gave me under the conditions named, the history of their race. Now by these means I secured all of the marks on the sacred trees, and their meaning, all of the rules of the 'Waipara' or man making ceremony.
In all their doings these primitive people followed nature, and when the whole is written a very interesting record will be made available to those interested. I do not known when I will bring out the work for I am now too much handicapped' (Letter to Albert Longman, Director, Queensland Museum, April 1923, quoted in Isabella McBryde, 'Thomas Dick's Photographic Vision', in Ian Donaldson and Tamsin Donaldson, Seeing the First Australians, Sydney, 1985).

Dick's work has generated controversy as to the extent to which his photographs are romantic or stylised vignettes of Aboriginal people, rather than an authentic record of aspects of traditional life. Such debate extends, also, the Clarence Valley (NSW) images of J.W. Lindt or the Mount Franklin (Vic.) photographs of Antoine Fauchery and Richard Daintree. In assessing the significance and context of Dick's efforts, Professor Isabel McBryde has pointed out that, unlike other ethnographic photographers, Dick did not record the present-day life of his subjects, but was 'concerned to create a pre-contact image', providing authentic facilities and using skill, scenery and lighting to create the mood and atmosphere of a time when Aboriginal people ranged freely across their own lands. This was itself a powerful reflection of the ideas of many contemporary students of Aboriginal society and culture; for although Dick's work was remarkable for its ethnographic detail, it constituted a romantic and of course entirely mistaken view of the 'inevitable passing' of Aboriginal people. (Isabel McBryde, pp.137, 140)

Professor McBryde states that

'Dick's deep local knowledge, his long association with his informants, and their readiness to share knowledge with him, have given his record an authenticity and range rarely found in the work of others. He created a full series of stages of production, and recorded in detail everyday subsistence activities, activities indeed often ignored by observers, including contemporary ethnographers. Building on his own knowledge and that of his associates, he attained to a considerable degree the solid ethnographic record he saw as secondary to his re-creative aim. Given the history of contact in northern New South Wales, by 1915 such a record could only have been achieved by the methods Dick attempted. Its images offer an interpretation of Aboriginal life that was a unique co-operative creation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students of the Aboriginal past.' (McBryde, p.140)

In commenting on the cultural significance of Thomas Dick's photographs to the Birpai, Phillip Gordon, Aboriginal Heritage Project Officer of the Australian Museum, asserts that
'These are unique treasures. These are treasures where they can see their ancestors, their known family members undertaking cultural activities and events and can see the pride in them. And they are really the crown jewels of the Port Macquarie area for Aboriginal people.' (ABC TV7.30 Report, 24 November 2015)
In 2017 the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, holder of two glass negatives, commented that 'These two images by Thomas Dick provide authentic documentation of Aboriginal people living on country in the 19th century and are of great significance within regional, State, National and International heritage contexts.' (Communication with Heritage Division, 5 February 2018)

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item) is of state heritage significance as a rare photographic portrayal of some aspects of the traditional life of Aboriginal people in the Hastings District of NSW as recorded by a photographer known to them, despite the scenes being the result of the photographer's artistic directions. It is also of state heritage significance in demonstrating a lengthy and unusual artistic collaboration between traditional custodians and a non-Aboriginal person in a contemporary regional NSW community. The collection is also of state heritage significance in demonstrating the manner in which an early twentieth century amateur regional NSW photographer sought to compare and contrast past and present Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal landscapes.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item) is of state heritage significance for its special association with the Birpai people, the traditional custodians of the Hastings District of NSW, in that it portrays them in their own lands. It is also of state significance for its special association with the life and work of Thomas Dick, a Port Macquarie oyster farmer and public citizen. Without thought of financial gain, Dick documented important aspects of the traditional life of the Birpai people, so compiling one of the state's most important anthropological photographic archives. In using photography to compare and contrast past and present land uses in a regional area, and in seeking to link these with the differences in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal attitudes to land use, Dick compiled an archive through which historic NSW rural and urban development patterns may be better understood.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item) is of state heritage significance for its aesthetic characteristics and high degree of creative and technical achievement. The photographs, whether in the form of glass plates or glass lantern slides have much sensory appeal, and exemplify the determination of Thomas Dick and the Birpai people to portray a way of life of which many aspects were being lost. Dick's composition of the photographs, whether with Aboriginal, landscape or townscape themes, demonstrates expert care, with their composition testifying to a degree of skill and ability remarkably high for an early twentieth century regional amateur photographer.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item) is of state heritage significance for its ability to yield new or further information as to the culture of NSW Aboriginal people, together with its ability to provide further information as to NSW rural and urban development patterns. The nature and significance of the activities depicted, as well as the ability of Aboriginal people to identify ancestors appearing in the photographs, constitutes important evidence of traditional ways of life. The collection is also of state heritage significance in providing a resource for further inquiry as to the traditional culture of Aboriginal people in NSW, and also as to perceived differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal attitudes to land use.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The Thomas Dick Photographic Collection (moveable heritage item) is of state heritage significance in providing rare and important photographic evidence of the traditional lives of Aboriginal people in NSW, and also in demonstrating the design and technical aspects of traditional activities such as the making of tools, weapons, implements and canoes. It is also of state heritage significance as a rare photographic archive of aspects of NSW Aboriginal culture of which there is insufficient pictorial evidence, and as a unique pictorial record of the culture of the Birpai people. It is of state heritage significance as a rare attempt by an early twentieth century amateur NSW photographer to compare and contrast past and present Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal land uses in a regional area.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - Under consideration for SHR/IHO listingHeritage Division 01 Jan 17   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1839Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser
Written 1838Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany
WrittenMcLaren, Nicol1977John Dick - Tanner and Oyster Farmer
WrittenRamsland, John1989'The Birpai of the Manning River and Purfleet Station', in Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal.
WrittenRamsland, John1987The Struggle Against Isolation: a History of the Manning Valley.

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5063847
File number: EF16/12635


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