Proposed East West Road Link will desecrate Royal Park Master Plan and Aboriginal History

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Royal Park Grasslands - Photograph Jill Koppel

In 1987 the City of Melbourne had a competition to  draw up a Master Plan for Royal Park -the winning entry, by landscape architects Brian Stafford and Ronald Jones, expressed a philosophy that the character of the Park was inherent in its form – “a place where the earth swells, the dome of the sky soars overhead and the horizon beckons”. A sense of the landscape, at the time of Europeans’ first encounter, was to be evoked by planting indigenous species and enhancing the park’s spacious quality.

The removal of a sports pavilion and cricket pitch and extensive replanting of native grasses has transformed this part of Royal Park (and it needs to be preserved).

Attached is a photograph of some of the protestors at the drill site taken by Jill Quirk President of Sustainable Population Australia (Victorian).

The Baillieu Government and Linking Melbourne Authority have minimised the historic connections of the Wurundjeri with the historic corroboree site.  Records reveal that the Le Souef family, the first Directors of the Melbourne Zoo,  left accounts and photos of “tribal dancing” in Royal Park. Also the Meaker family – Park Bailiffs and Rangers – who lived in the Walmsley House on Gatehouse Street left records of the Aboriginal groups whose lands included the Royal Park area and the Moonee Ponds Creek. Yesterday we welcomed Tony who is the great grandson of Frances Meaker and has valuable family mementos of their life in Royal Park and at the Melbourne Zoo from 1862 to 1932.

Julianne Bell Secretary PPL VIC

One thought on “Proposed East West Road Link will desecrate Royal Park Master Plan and Aboriginal History”

  1. clive meaker says:

    I am great great grandson of Francis Meaker and am researching his life and writing a family history at present. I would be very appreciative of any information and would dearly like to get in touch with Tony (mentioned in the above article).
    Cheers
    Clive Meaker

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