This work is conducted in memory and respectfully honours the First Australian People,
the Aboriginal People of this land.
We are delighted to announce the public release of the next episode in the Stories of Our Town series: Lycett and Wallis: Unlikely Preservers of Aboriginal Knowledge.
The film concentrates on the beautiful and highly informative illustrations of Aboriginal life and culture in Newcastle and the Hunter Region as seen through the eyes of a convict artist, Joseph Lycett and his patron and Newcastle Commandant Captain James Wallis.
The film covers the artistic output of three years from the time from which Lycett was tried before Governor Macquarie on 7 July 1815, found guilty and sentenced to three years at Newcastle to when his sentence at Newcastle expired in June 1818.
The original concept for a Stories of Our Town film on Aboriginal Newcastle was launched at a very tumultuous meeting of the Hunter Living Histories on the 2 March 2020. What followed were months of hard work researching, collecting imagery, recording interviews with people, and visiting cultural institutions all during a worldwide COVID lock down and a very fearful time.
The product of all this is a truly beautiful film which is a credit to all who participated, and generously shared their knowledge.
- Charles Martin, whose 3D Virtual Newcastle work illustrated the historic Newcastle landscape of the times:
- Richard Neville, Librarian & Director, Mitchell Library, home of the Wallis Album (See: https://hunterlivinghistories.com/2017/03/21/wallis-album-1817/) and Macquarie Chest (See: https://search.sl.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/15rjecp/ADLIB110365989)
- John McPhee, Art Historian and Author of Joseph Lycett Convict Artist (Sydney: Historic Houses Trust, 2006)
- Professor John Maynard, Aboriginal scholar at The University of Newcastle See: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/john-maynard
- Daryn McKenny, Executive/Founding Director of Miromaa See: https://www.miromaa.org.au/
- Shane Frost, Awabakal Descendant (See: https://hunterlivinghistories.com/2012/10/30/historic-return-of-newcastle-treasures-for-exhibition/)
- Julie Baird, Director Newcastle Museum (See: https://www.newcastlemuseum.com.au/home)
- Councillor Carol Duncan, Founder of Lost Newcastle (See: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LostNewcastle/)
- Yours Truly
- Sarah Johnson, Curator Newcastle Art Gallery (See: https://nag.org.au/home)
- Lauretta Morton, Director Newcastle Art Gallery
- Sharon Edgar Jones, Cultural Education Officer
We thank Glenn and Tony for a wonderful job in pulling together a story they describe as follows:
“At the dawn of the 19th Century in one of the World’s most vicious settlements, two fractured European men started an art revolution that resulted in the preservation of vast amounts of Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge. Before the existence of cameras, convict Joseph Lycett captured traditional Aboriginal life in Newcastle as it had existed for millennia, at the nexus point before most of their lifestyle would be lost forever. This is a wild tale that every Novocastrian needs to know. (35min). Here is the film. Please share it with everyone and like us on Facebook Stories of Our Town“
The Special Collections/GLAMx team and its film maker partners Glenn Dormand (aka Chit Chat von loopin Stab) and Tony Whitaker (Carnivore Films) were among one of the five successful applicants sharing $1.2 million from the NSW Government’s Round Five of the Newcastle Port Community Contribution (NPCC) fund.
The Stories of Our Town Project presents Newcastle’s key historic stories through Novocastrian eyes and points of view, and is a great partnership between the film makers and Newcastle’s major Cultural and Educational Institutions.
Gionni Di Gravio OAM
University Archivist, Chair Hunter Living Histories & Executive Producer
Watch the movies here:
For more information on the Stories of Our Town Project:
For more information on Aboriginal History and Culture:
The Virtual Sourcebook for Aboriginal Studies in the Hunter Region: