The Guardian 16 November, 2005

Protest supports Kaurna heritage

Bob Briton

"This is Kaurna land"; "This is a fight for true land"; "No ghettos 4 the rich". Banners strung along fences and from the billboard advertising new releases of luxury apartments made the objections of last week’s protestors perfectly clear. Local residents defied icy winds and threatening rain to gather at the southern end of the first of the portside sites earmarked for the construction of high-cost apartments and marina berths.

The Lartelare Glanville Land Action Group had organised the early morning community information event to draw wider public attention to the threat posed by redevelopment to the Kaurna heritage of Port Adelaide and to put their alternative vision for the highly significant site.

A leaflet distributed to commuters at local railway stations set out some vital history of the site:

"In 1851, a Kaurna Woman called Lartelare was born in a traditional dwelling (wurley) on the waterfront of the Port River, at Glanville where the CSR Sugar Refinery later stood. The knowledge of this woman and her campsite is not only known through a 145 year oral history tradition, but also through the records of recognised historians, like those of Dr Norman B Tindale of 1935. Lartelare’s great Granddaughter, Veronica Brodie, a Kaurna Ngarrendjeri Elder and member of the Port Adelaide community has been fighting for the rights to her descendents’ campsite since 1995.

"In 2005, the Newport Quays development commenced. Aunty Veronica Brodie and the Lartelare Glanville Land Action Group are asking the developers and local and state Government to hand back the land, with the funding and rights for a development for the Aboriginal community, which would be accessible to all, in respect and recognition to the traditional owners of the Port River area."

The Glanville site was the last toe-hold of the Aboriginal people’s traditional way of life in the area. Aunty Veronica is proposing an alternative vision for the location that would give developers and government authorities an opportunity to start to heal injustices like the dispossession and dispersal of the Port River’s Kaurna people, rather than compound them. The Lartelare Glanville Land Action Group is supporting her call for a centre for Kaurna culture to be part of the site’s redevelopment:

The Centre will consist of:

  • A Kaurna Interpretive Centre, to house and teach the Kaurna language and culture.

  • A race relations institute that will teach knowledge on the Kaurna people and culture of the Port River area, a place for colleges, tourists and community to visit to gain in-sight into the area.

  • A safe place/museum for artefacts and oral histories to be kept and available for public access, for educational purposes and for families to use to trace their ancestry and re-learn the Kaurna language.

  • A place for community members and visitors to do traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, learning, displaying and offering studio space for artists, e.g. traditional weaving and wood carving.

    The Centre will aim to:

  • Monitor and help recover the natural environment of the Port River around the Glanville Site; to record local and significant birds and wildlife.

  • Highlight and promote local significant sites and walking trails around the area.

    In addition to the Centre, they are hoping to build an elders’ village for respite care; a place for the elders in the area and around the district to rest and recuperate in a stress free and culturally familiar environment.

    On Saturday November 19, the group has the permission of earthmoving contractors and the SA Government’s Land Management Corporation to enter the site from the northern (Semaphore Road) end and to stake out the area of land being sought for the envisioned centre. However, developers and government authorities are still sticking to their plans for token recognition of the site’s Kaurna history and the construction of an enclave for the wealthy. A strong campaign will have to be built very quickly to ensure that justice is done.

    For further information about the Lartelare Glanville Land Action Group
    and its campaign for land justice or to get active,
    please write to: PO Box 612, Port Adelaide SA 5015

    Donations to the campaign’s fighting fund welcomed and can be sent to the same address or phone Bob on 0418 894 366, email to

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