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Uncle Noel Butler (Budawang, Yuin), 2021
Carved spotted gum from bushfire- ravaged Country
Australian Museum Collection Commission
The history they’re not telling
A marked tree signifies special places – it could be burial sites, celebration sites or corroboree grounds. This tree marks interruption. 250 years of neglect, of the wrong way instead of 100,000 years of the right way. How could anyone expect us to come and celebrate and have a big flash party? The ship coming in signals the start of when we were rounded up and chained and poisoned, getting rid of all our culture, we’re put in bloody missions – these stories that are so real to me. We can’t go forward until we all learn and know our history. Uncle Noel Butler (Budawang, Yuin), 2021
The tree is the signal fire now
The hand holding the firestick shows our respect for fire. The crystals represent our men and women Baginj and their incredible fire knowledge passed down – how to manage fire, to light fire, know the right sticks, the right time, the right piece of land.The tree is the signal fire now – the wood was a branch burnt off a huge big mother tree last year. All of the burnt wood represents 250 years of the wrong way of managing Country. We have to change the way we look after the land or this is going to happen again … even before the bushfires we were the worst country in the world for destroying vertebrates. Uncle Noel Butler (Budawang, Yuin), 2021