Same place, different views: exploring the Wilsons River story sites community history project
Kijas, J 2010, 'Same place, different views: exploring the Wilsons River story sites community history project', The Public Historian, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 51-60.
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The City Council of Lismore, on the Far North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, has developed a series of large story sites along on the banks of the Wilsons River, to tell the district's history. Each site contains six large, visually striking interpretation panels using the river as the common theme. Lismore is in the heart of a region that has seen great demographic transformation in the past thirty years, as internal migration from southern states to the warm north coast have brought a diversity of newcomers into the rural countryside with a large indigenous population of traditional custodians. Story telling is a vital aspect of the research and text for the panels. Coming from the anecdotal reflections of one member of the project team, this paper explores the collaborative process between the two historians——one non-Aboriginal and one Aboriginal consultant——as we addressed tensions in the non-Aboriginal community about representations of the contact zone and found our way in presenting diverse stories in a public arena.