Red Rock Headland

red rock headland

The base of Red Rock Headland, Red Rock New South Wales

Red Rock Headland

the first thing you should know
about Red Rock, that is
it’s not Red Rock
Blood Rock is the name
and blood rock it will remain

the sea took up its charge
lovingly far-away
to a place remote, deep
to gracefully nurture
both mother and child
who now rest at peace
in the bosom of her silence

but the sea will never forget
her anger never assuaged
and in indefatigable red rage
continually pit relentlessly
against this headland

for at this headland human flesh
was wantonly herded into her arms
and so, spitting indignation
the surge of a disquiet spray
washes the blood rock red
immovable rock, red rock,
blood rock
for all to witness
a permanent reminder

The NSW National Park memorial plaque on Red Rock Headland …

plaque

In memory of the victims and survivors of the Blood Rock Massacres. Understanding their sacrifice will make us stronger. We as Gumbaingirr people have survived many conflicts over ownership of our traditional lands including a massacre where many were driven off the headland at Red Rock (Blood Rock)

When we checked in at the camp ground I mentioned that I would be walking up to the headland. The receptionist told me it was really ‘Blood Rock’ and told me the history. In the development of Australia there was a lot of pain associated with the mis-treatment of the indigenous population. This must be recognised no matter how uncomfortable.

This poem was included in the latest anthology publication of the ‘Yass Valley Writers’.

Richard Scutter