By Vicky Smith
Sacred gravesites within the old Huskisson church site are again at risk as its developer-owner ignores Shoalhaven Council advice and goes direct to the state government for an excavation permit. When a developer fails to listen to the voice of the community, it’s up to us to speak up. This sacred land must be respected and protected.
On Saturday November 12th the Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council, Huskisson Heritage Association and other community groups will rally on the corner of Hawke and Bowen Streets, Huskisson.
We will be a highly visible presence. The rally will begin at 10:00am with a Welcome to Country, speeches, music, singing, chants, fun, laughter and welcoming smiles. ALL interested, and concerned, are welcome.
Before, and after, the speeches there will be time to be creative and have a chat. There will be a guided walk around designated streets of Huskisson. Light-weight signs will be available to hold and carry.
We are asking people to wear something outrageous and eye-catching and if possible their Save Husky Heritage T-shirt.
Our very valid concerns over the rezoning and development of the site have been constantly ignored or minimised. There was the removal of the historic church hall, one of the oldest buildings in town. And the senseless destruction of six to eight beautiful grandmother trees on the site.
This rally is to increase awareness within Huskisson and further afield. The time is long overdue to ‘Listen to the community’ regarding these issues.
It is anticipated the pointless desecration ('scraping') of graves is imminent. This is highly distressing to so many.
The owner still plans a five-storey commercial venue on this site, with an underground car park. That is on a graveyard that is considered sacred land. We must speak up. We MUST ‘Respect the ancestors’ of this land.
Vicky Smith is an executive member of the Huskisson Heritage Association.
Feature image: We love our church, we love our heritage, we have replaced these weavings for support of protecting the church and the site many times after they were vandalised, we are not giving up. Photo supplied