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Update - Stone Secrets

The opportunity for Dr David Chalmers to present his findings was well received at the recent Franklin family reunion with many people hearing about his research and findings for the first time. His research and hypothesis sparked much interest by many of the older ‘Franklins’ who expressed a desire to visit the sites and gain first had experience of the landfall and environment.


Two years ago Bernadette Franklin and Loraine Padgham (as representatives of the Taungurung) were invited to attend the launch of the culmination of six years of research undertaken by Prof. Chalmers at his Strathbogie Ranges property.


Prof. Chalmers had been researching the unusual arrangement of stones on his property and concluded that they could have been established by the Nira Balug people (a clan of the Taungurung) to herd kangaroos up the hill, into a race, where they were trapped and separated for slaughter or breeding. He compared the 'Euroa men' rock drawings found in the Strathbogie Ranges and theorised that the rock drawings could actually depict the local Aboriginal people herding and corralling kangaroos.



Other interesting stone arrangements were shown to the group and speculation was made that one stone arrangement was in fact a calendar made in the shape of a giant bird - possibly Bunjil - with it's beak pointing eastward towards the rising sun. Through cavities in the adjacent caves, sunlight could penetrate and shine on the back wall of the cave accurately depicting the time of the year.



In addition to discussing his research, Prof.Chalmers presented a descendant of the Nira Balug clan with a grinding stone and other artefacts found in the area.


The visit to the Chalmers property was rewarding and informative. It was a delight to meet someone who is passionate about the country on which he lives and his desire to know more about the local Aboriginal people.

Thank you Prof.Chalmers for sharing your theories and being such a warm and generous host.

Further information can be found in the Shepparton News dated 24-Jul-2010