Here is a new booklet with an invitation to join in! We particularly welcome responses from Aboriginal readers.Present State Final

This booklet takes a look at Robert Dawson’s encounters with the First Australians in the 1820s. Dawson was the first Chief Agent of the Australian Agricultural Company, but he was sacked within a few years of being appointed. One of the main reasons for his sacking was that the Company thought he had spent too much time with the local Aboriginal population of the Port Stephens area.

The booklet is full of Dawson’s interactions with indigenous people and it seems that many of the features of the relationships between Aboriginal and European Australians had their beginnings back then.

How to participate?

If you know any oral history that reflects the things that Dawson has written about here or in his full book The Present State of Australia (available free as an e-book on Google Books), let us know by making a comment. We’ll include your comments in the next version.

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The Permanent Walk Booklet Update aaaWell here it is! This is the online version of the first professionally published Walk Booklet. It’s been updated and extended. The hard copy will be on sale with the Walk for 2015 for $5 and separately for $8.The NCP Final Booklet To order a hardcopy of the booklet, just email with your request.

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This year, the Walk Booklet has been totally revised and will be professionally printed for the first time.

It will be available for walkers and will go on sale at The Karuah Centre hopefully in March.

It will be available on line about a week before this year’s Walk on Sunday 19th April.

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Yes, it’s on again. We’re planning on Sunday 19th April 2015. As usual, we’ll start gathering about 11.30am at Longworth Park beside the Cole Brothers Oyster operation. We’ll get into groups of about 15 people and set off with our guides.

This year, we’re presenting a new, expanded Walk Booklet, the usual light lunch in the park on the northern side of the river, water re-fills along the way, the ferry ride in an oyster barge across Yalimbah Creek, a tour of Tahlee House and a devonshire tea as well as a return bus trip back to Karuah.

Cost for 2015 will be $30 per head. The new booklet is available for $5 extra.

More details following shortly.

Book by simply emailing . Give your name, number of walkers anbd your email and phone details and you’ll be booked in. We’ll confirm by reply email.

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If you’d like to have a look at snippets from the 2014 Walk to Tahlee, try this link  [IMG][/IMG][/URL]

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The 2013 Walk Booklet

Here it is THE NEW WALK BOOKLET….. Down load it now!

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Joseph Pennington’s Unfinished Story

If you know anything about this topic and have something to add, I’d welcome your input. Please correct any errors too.

Joseph Pennington

I’m jotting this down with the thought that I ought to explore this story sometime.

Joseph Pennington owned 1500 acres of land near the site of current-day Raymond Terrace on the Williams River.

Somehow before 1828, he lost the land to Simeon Lord. I’m not sure how. He finished up on the Myall River north of Port Stephens in charge of a team of convicts who were felling timber.

In the process, he befriended and eight year old aboriginal boy called Billy. Billy let on to Pennington that some of the convicts were misbehaving with the aboriginal women. The convicts appear to have got hold of this fact because they took billy up the river “fishing” and he didn’t return.

Pennington later found Billy’s body by the river and buried it.

Pennington was afraid to raise the issue with the convicts, so he said nothing until he was able to contact Robert Dawson, the Chief Officer of the AA Company.

Dawson then investigated and had four convicts charged with murder. They were sent to Sydney where they were tried and found guilty.

The Governor at the time appears to have held Dawson responsible for causing problems because he ordered that the convicts were to be returned to Port Stephens where they were to be hanged.

The impending execution caused much stress at Port Stephens. The convicts were restless and the officers of the company were understandably nervous.

In the event, the execution was called off because some aboriginals on an outlying station injured a convict shepherd and a chase party was organised to hunt for the aboriginals.

The four condemned men were instead sent to Norfolk Island where some of the mutinied, captured a boat and sailed to New Zealand. They were eventually re-captured and executed however.

Finally, Pennington was drowned off Port Stephens whilst trying to rescue people. He was drowned in the company of an aboriginal person.


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