Migration Memories
Lightning Ridge perspectives

 

Joan Treweeke: A colonial migration perspective


 

Many cultures, one place: Connections between cultures on Angledool station from 1860

Angledool station is one of several neighbouring pastoral properties on which Lightning Ridge developed. Joan’s intimate connection with the land and history of the station was the basis for her story of colonial migrations and the cultural contact that resulted. 

Photo: Joan and Christina   display
Joan Treweeke (left) in discussion with Christina Johannson at the Lightning Ridge Transcultural Community Council, 2007. Photograph: Jenni Brammall.   View of part of Joan’s story on display in Lightning Ridge. Photograph: Ursula Frederick, 2006.

 

Mapping the personal, the local and historical

The exhibition used maps and text to show the bigger migration pictures that were relevant to the British pastoral family who took up the Angledool lease in 1860, and to the Chinese gardeners who worked on the station in the early twentieth century.

Map   document
Details from Joan Treweeke, panel two, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.

map and text
Detail from Joan Treweeke, panel four, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.

 


The local

Negotiation between miners and pastoralists has been part of the local life of the Lightning Ridge district since opal was discovered at the turn of the nineteenth century.

 
Detail from Joan Treweeke, panel one, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.  

In Joan’s story maps played an important role in showing the impact of migration into the local area. As well as marking out the evolving relationship between pastoralists and opal miners, the maps made by surveyors for the colonial government charted the dispossession of the Yuwaalaraay people.

pastoral workers
  station aerial photo

Details from Joan Treweeke, panel three, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.



The personal in historical context

In the exhibition, small ‘pull-out’ panels provided details of individuals whose lives gave a personal glimpse of the three groups of people who had come together on the land of Angledool station. Station wages records, Commonwealth and State Archives, and living memory helped in the compilation of this material. Joan’s own experience as a newcomer was also included.

pullout panel
 
station
Detail from Joan Treweeke, pull-out panel Low Quoy, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.
  Detail from Joan Treweeke, panel one, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.

 


Looking back on the project

Joan
Well, I think you’ve done it in the time and the space you’ve got. Made the point that this one geographical spot has the interests of many people for quite different reasons…when you come to put concepts and ideas into a few words, you realise the limitations and that’s part of [the process]. …I don’t think anything’s been left out that should’ve been in.  You just obviously have to leave some things off.

 
Angledool station.
Photograph: Iona Walsh, 2006
 

 

Mary
Whenever Joan and I talked about Angledool and its histories we talked about people and the connections between them. We agreed on the idea of ‘three cultures, one place’ from very early in the process.  The challenge was how to make selections from the material that would tell this rich and complex story in a way that would not be confusing. It was also a design challenge – and as such something that the exhibition designer, Iona Walsh, and I have continued to discuss.