Fred Cahir 'My Country all gone - the white men have stolen it'

Sunday 21 July 2019
36 Fraser St Clunes VIC 3370

Author Fred Cahir

The books title “My Country all gone – the white men have stolen it” is a provocative one that does not pull its punches. The writer, Associate Professor Fred Cahir, is a historian from Federation University. Using the invader’s own words taken from diaries, official records and letters, he presents a challenging history of the colonial invader’s interactions and relations with the First Nation’s people in the Moorabool, Geelong and Ballarat region – the Wadawurrung. Fred noted that “My Country all gone” is a culmination of thirty years archival research that chronicles the three waves of invasion in our region from 1800 to1870 by the ngamadjidj – the white strangers from the sea.  

Fred explains, “The genesis of this book really began on the Nullabor Plain in 1983 when I was cycling solo across Australia from Perth to Melbourne. I was young, dumb and blonde – a bad combination. Not surprisingly, I ran out of food and water for several days”. Upon returning to Victoria, he resolved to write a history of the invasion of Wadawurrung Country that his Irish forbears had been part of. Fred describes that he found there were three waves of invaders. “The first was predominately the British Navy, the second being the squatters and the third was the gold seekers”.   

While Cahir’s book reveals how the Wadawurrung actively resisted the white invaders coming onto their Country, it also points to a surprising number of touching interactions between the two groups that took place in this district. Fred describes them as “remote islands of friendly relations in an ocean of undeclared warfare”. 

Books will be available for purchase and signing at this event.