CALL FOR SUPPORT – A unique proposal to retain the significance of Middle Head

Background

Desperate attempts are being made to protect and preserve the significance of Middle Head. With the deadline for submissions on the DA due within seven days, community tension and anger is rising against the proposal to create a 93 room residential aged care facility which would effectively alienate the public from accessing their land.

Josephine Cashman, a young Aboriginal Lawyer and Entrepreneur, has developed a concept to bring the community together and work with the Federal Government to ignite growth within the Indigenous economy. Her plan is to revitalise the Ten Terminal Site at Middle Head which has recently been the subject of a DA for a 93 room private residential aged care facility.

Her plans include a public Keeping Place and Healing Centre for Aboriginal people. The Keeping Place would house an important collection of Aboriginal Art, which has been collected by an Aboriginal man, Gordon Syron and described by experts as the most important and unique collection of urban and contemporary art. There are also four decades of associated images. Patrons of the collection include Dr Jeff McMullen, Former High Court Judge Michael Kirby, the Hon Philip Ruddock AO, Professor Larissa Behrendt and Professor Margo Neale. Daryl Maguire Whip of the NSW Government has been spearheading the campaign for the past four years.

Ms Cashman says “this site is incredible, not only is it one of the sites of first contact, but there are Aboriginal Carvings, middens and other evidence of occupation within metres of the proposed development – it would be an amazing way to bring non-indigenous and indigenous people together.

It is also the site of Bungaree’s Farm – the first land grant to Aboriginal People, granted by Governor Macquarie, to help acculturate Aboriginal People”.

January 2015 marks the 200 year anniversary of this land grant and the first phase of the project will be opened to celebrate this momentous occasion, which has recently been the subject of a very successful touring art exhibition organised by Mosman Council.

Ms Cashman says “this proposal would provide jobs, training and opportunities for Aboriginal people in a setting where they are not marginalised, but celebrated as the first peoples of the land. It is also very much in keeping with the aims and objects of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (SHFT) Act which are to maximise public access to its sites and to retain the cultural significance of the buildings. As only minimal changes to the interiors would be required and the facades left intact the proposal satisfies the aims of why the Trust was established in the first place.”

Lateral Love Australia supports the Middle Head Keeping and Healing Centre proposal!

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT IN SECURING, SAVING AND PRESERVING THIS IMPORTANT LANDMARK SITE

Do you feel this development is something that will benefit Australian society as a whole, maximising public access whilst retaining cultural significance?

If so, over the next 7 Days (from now until 5:00pm on Wednesday 27th November 2013) we need your help to send letters and emails incorporating the text below to The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust:

Email: consulttrust@harbourtrust.gov.au and CC: us in at lateralloveaustralia@bigpond.com

Copy and paste the following into the subject line:

We support Josephine Cashman’s proposal for the ‘Middle Head Keeping Place and Healing Centre’.

Copy and paste the following text into the body of your email and edit as you see fit:

The cultural significance of this site as a point of first contact, the historical significance including the many Aboriginal Carvings, middens and other evidence of occupation within metres of the proposed development – will be a ground breaking way to bring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together.

The ‘Keeping Place and Healing Centre’ collection contains works by Clifford Possum, Emily Kngwarreye, Cecil Bowden, Bronwyn Bancroft, and works by G. Syron. With more than 1,400 paintings, 200 artefacts and sculptures from over 500 Aboriginal artists, with an eclectic mix of Aboriginal dolls, installations, books, didgeridoos etc. is an extraordinary representation of Contemporary Urban Australian Aboriginal art. The collection also contains a unique photographic & film archive of more than 100,000 photographs recording the Aboriginal story over the past 4 decades.

The ‘Keeping Place and Healing Centre’ will benefit Australian society as a whole, maximising public access, invoking an element of healing whilst retaining Aboriginal and European cultural significance to the Middle Head site.

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All efforts we make together over the next 7 days will go towards housing this amazing collection and we thank you for taking the time to support this ground breaking initiative.

Yours in unity through lateral love and spirit of care,
Nicola and Brian Butler

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