Unmaking Angas Downs

Myth and History on a Central Australian Pastoral Station

Shannyn Palmer
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Unmaking Angas Downs

Myth and History on a Central Australian Pastoral Station

Shannyn Palmer
A new work of history that seeks to unmake mythologies of pioneers, pastoralism and possession in the Northern Territory
Some stories dominate how we see and interpret a place, while others are obscured from view. Angas Downs is a pastoral station in Central Australia, but pastoralism is only a fraction of what has happened there. Like all places it has accrued people and stories, in multiple layers, over time. Listening to Tjuki Tjukanku Pumpjack and Sandra Armstrong, two Aangu with deep and abiding connections to Angas Downs, a very different kind of place emerges from that conjured in myths and histories of pioneers and pastoralists that have shaped understandings of the past in Australia, particularly in the Northern Territory Unmaking Angas Downs traces a history of colonisation in Central Australia by tracking the rise and demise of a rural enterprise across half a century, as well as the complex and creative practices that transformed a cattle station into Country. It grapples with the question of how people experience profound…
Some stories dominate how we see and interpret a place, while others are obscured from view. Angas Downs is a pastoral station in Central Australia, but pastoralism is only a fraction of what has happened there. Like all places it has accrued people and stories, in multiple layers, over time. Listening to Tjuki Tjukanku Pumpjack and Sandra Armstrong, two Anangu with deep and abiding connections to Angas Downs, a very different kind of place emerges from that conjured in myths and histories of pioneers and pastoralists that have shaped understandings of the past in Australia, particularly in the Northern Territory. Unmaking Angas Downs traces a history of colonisation in Central Australia by tracking the rise and demise of a rural enterprise across half a century, as well as the complex and creative practices that transformed a cattle station into Country. It grapples with the question of how people experience profound dislocation and come to make a place for themselves in the wake of rupture. Angas Downs emerges as a place of dynamic interaction and social life - not only lived in, but also made by Anangu.

Shannyn Palmer

Shannyn Palmer

Shannyn Palmer is a community-engaged practitioner, researcher and writer living and working on the Ancestral lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples. She was born and raised on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in the state now known as Victoria and has also lived and worked on Wurundjeri Country and Central Arrernte Country. While living in Mparntwe and working with Anangu, recording the stories that form the foundation of this book, Shannyn worked for the Ara…

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