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Heart Full of Soul

August 15, 2011

After 100 years of trying to claim the land, white Australians felt that they’d not occupied the centre of Australia, they’d not occupied the north, and that history would move on to its next phase, and a people with more ingenuity would come along and take the land off the whites just in the same way that the whites had taken off the Aborigines.

Rare event: Flood waters from Queensland and NSW fill the vast expanse of Lake Eyre, April 2011

And this is not helped by the fact that Professor Gregory, briefly a professor of Melbourne university, goes to Lake Eyre in the early 1900s, comes back, and writes a book called The Dead Heart, in which he describes the area around Lake Eyre as a dead heart. And he literally means us, or wants us to take this as an image of a heart that is dead, and that all those veins that come out from the heart are withered arteries. Now this is a country that has just federated. It’s looking for a sense of national purpose, and one of the most powerful statements about our geography is this damn book that says, ‘We have got a dead heart.’

~ Michael Cathcart, author of The Water Dreamers.

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