The fire’s going, TV’s on… it’s warm and snug on the Story Hill: Winter in Queensland.
Why do I think this place is special, why do I think this place was special to the Aboriginals… and why do I think – know, this place was and is, a Story Hill… the equivalent to the holy of holy places.
First and most obviously it is the only spot, the only hill, the only fixed place that you can see the Sun climb and descend Eerwah… and in the middle of this up and down process is summer solstice. The Sun moves into Eerwah on the 22nd November, every day appearing to climb the mountain until solstice on the 21/22nd December with the Sun resting on the right hand chock at the top; this is as far West as the Sun goes. 31 days to climb to solstice and 31 days to descend; the Sun has 62 days in Eerwah… more than any other place as seen from the Story Hill. There are ridges and flats where you can observe the same thing, but no fixed spot like the Story Hill.
The Story Hill is a natural place to spy out the land. From the Story Hill you can predict the weather, see birds and animals migrating; you can see at least 50 miles in all directions, unlike most of this country of rainforests and valleys.
The piles of quartz rocks scattered around the top of the hill. Quartz was a magical rock to the aboriginals. Roth, (the first Queensland government protectorate of Aboriginal’s in the late 1800’s) noted in his book; that aboriginal’s all over Queensland revere’d quartz. The Elders or Story Tellers would polish a pice of quartz, and it was this pice of quartz (not bone as some of the early settlers thought) that the Story Teller would point at some unfortunate person. The pointing of the quartz (bone) would kill people within weeks.
I believe the piles of quartz rock scattered around the top of the hill would be the remains of a sacred ‘Bora Ring’. (In the 1970’s Tommy Tomlin came to see us when we were living in the ‘old house’… the house his father had built in the 1920’s.) His Father was a returned solder from WW1 and took up the Story Hill block as a ‘Solder Settler Block’ in 1925/7. Tommy was only to happy to share all the history he knew about the 250 acre block of land. The name of the Story Hill had been forgotten in the 50 odd years since the last Story Teller… Tommy just called it; ‘Blackfella Hill’. He told us about the piles of quartz on top of Blackfellow Hill, his father had believed a bullock wagon from the Gympie gold rush, full of gold bearing quartz had broken down on top of the hill; the driver unloading the quartz to save his team and waggon. Tommy’s father had crushed some of the quarts rocks, but found no gold. What I believe is more likely is, the rocks were moved by a bullock team, when Red Cedar was first harvested in this district in the 1860’s. A bullock team hauling timber would sooner or later climb one of the 3 ridges leading to the Story Hill, once at the top the driver would have no option but to move some of the rocks in the Bora Ring to get the team across… breaking the magic of Millennium.
The Story Hill is the watershed for the twin Blackfellow, the North and South Blackfellow creeks. The Vally between these 2 creeks I believe would have been the last camp of the clan that owned the Story Hill, the ‘Cak-cool-la-wahe-le’ or ‘Kaggoollawhalie’ a Cubi Cubi or Kubie speaking people. Their Story Teller would have stayed up on the Story Hill, seeking guidance from Eerwah; only Story Tellers or Elders could go to a Story Place. The people would have camped at the bottom of the Story Hill in the valley between the 2 creeks, hoping for a miracle. And all the while more white people would have come into the district, looking for land, timber and gold. The white people would have noted the camp of Black People between the 2 creeks… so they called the creeks; the North Blackfellow and the South Blackfellow … the same names they have today.
The things that have happened to me since living on the Story Hill. I’v changed, my thinking has changed… I see things you cannot.
A decade ago, one of my neighbours stopped me one morning down at my gate. He asked me had I heard about ‘Power-link’ (the state owned company charged with connecting towns with power stations) running high voltage power lines between huge steel pylons through his property and alongside mine then into the next Vally to the South. We had a cup of coffee at his place, and he showed me the plans for the preposed root. It was like a slap in the face, he told me he was getting a Barrister to fight it. I told him, he’d be waisting his money, if the Government wanted to do something, their wasn’t much we could do about it. When I got home, somebody else rang me about the power lines and pylons cutting their property in half, I told them the same thing; Landholders had no chance against the Government. I couldn’t see what we could do, we would just have to except it… like it or not.
A few months later, one of my neighbours came up and seen me, he’s an electrician and knew exactly where the pylons were going. He wanted to take me for a drive and show me what was going to happen. I told him the same thing I’d told everyone; ‘Ya cant fight the Government.’ Even so he took me for a drive and showed me where the pylons were going. I was horrified. Sitting in his car he asked me to do something to stop it, he wanted my help and could I stop it from happening.
Something happened to me then, like an ancient voice in my mind, a power from the land… something stirred, some connection was made.
A few days later I was going over everything in my mind, when I looked up at Eerwah. I’d never seen it so clear… it loomed from the land with a presence that was undeniable. I remember I was transfixed, I couldn’t believe something so big had been their for so long without me ever seeing it as I was seeing it then; it was a total revelation… an epiphany. I was seeing something that had been staring me in the face for years. In that moment I knew the power lines and pylons were not going to happen, I knew it with an absolute certainty. I was going to stop it from happening; me, I was the Story Teller, I had the power to do this.
The next day I started writing letters; I started with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. I knew he had been brought-up within sight of Eerwah. Next was the Premier of Queensland, then the head honcho of Power-link, the Minister in charge of Power-link down to the local State member of parliament and the local council… even aboriginal sport stars. The papers, radio and TV; anybody and everybody, but mostly the boss of Power-link. What I was pointing out was; the Story Hill and Eerwah were linked, that it was an ancient Aboriginal site of significance. That I would and could organise protests to stop the deliberate trashing of an Aboriginal site of significance. I also pointed out that the more Power-link pushed, the more powerful I would become.
At the same time the residents who were going to be effected by the preposed power lines through their properties started to organise them selves into a lobby group called P.A.G.E.? They held meetings (I went to most of them) and raised money(I donated over 50 bucks) to employ experts to write letters. Power-link spent millions of dollars buying properties, and all the time I told Power-link it wasn’t going to happen. I said it wouldn’t be hippies chaining themselves to trees, but landholders, farmers and rich retires.
And then without warning, Power-link put a notice in the local paper saying they weren’t going ahead with the project, no reason was given, that was the end of it. P.A.G.E. took the credit for stoping the project, I never said anything… only a few people knew of the effort I put into stopping the trashing of an aboriginal site. I never wanted accolades, I am what I am, the Story Teller, the Oracle of Eerwah.com
I tell the stories, its up to you to make of them what you will.
At the start of the Power-link debacle I woke up one Winter morning to a blood-red sunrise with the full moon setting in the rising Sun; this is impossible but I was watching it happen. After a few heart beats I realised what was happening; 3 sides of my bedroom is all glass, somehow the setting moon in the Mary Vally to the West was transferred around the glass windows to the East where the Sun was rising out of Timbeawah. I have never seen this happen again and blood-red dawns are a rarity. That day, 2 full-blood aboriginals came to the Story Hill out of the blue, one had to leave because of the ‘spirits’ … the one that stayed is a life-long friend.
I think about how things happen like that. Some people would say it’s more than a coincidence… what do you think?
Some of the thing’s that have happened to me on the Story Hill, I won’t talk about; I find them to weird, to confronting … to unreal. I have written them down but I wont publish them while I’m alive.
The thing is, how many years have Aboriginals lived on the Sunshine Coast, how many years have they danced on the Story Hill? Most likely way before the Sphinx and the pyramids, way, way before Stonehenge, the Bible and J.C… right back to the ‘Dreaming’… but how long ago was that?
I like science, I like facts that can be proven. Religion, folk-law and fairy tails don’t do much for me. They are all about ‘faith,’ believing in something with no proof. Its like the ‘monetary system’ as long as most of us ‘believe’ we can get our money out of the banks, it works. But if half of us stopped believing our money is safe, and we started withdrawing it (a run on the Banks) the system would collapse … we’d have chaos
Even the most hard-headed Scientist and ignorant Fundamentalist reach a point in their thinking, where there is no explanation, nothing fits. Its like; what was before the Big Bang or who made God… there is no answer. Equally, some of the things that have happened to me on the Story Hill, have no rational explanation; they just happen. I look at it as some kind of Quantum thing, a part of a thought beyond the sub-atomic left over from thousands of years ago. Is it possible that millions of sub-atomic particles smaller than a Quark can somehow fuse into a thought, a vision of some kind… even an action?