Many in our community have regarded that the Blackburn Creeklands park is very special in that Kalang Park seemed to host a “scar tree” – a remnant of pre-European history virtually in our back yard.
A scar tree is one where indigenous Australians created a utensil, weapon, canoe, shelter, hunting aid or ceremonial artefact from a tree – leaving a telltale scar. It was thought that a shield was made from our “scar tree”. Of course, trees can be scarred by many other causes such as fire or a nearby tree falling onto them.
Most authentic Aboriginal scar trees are over 100 years old and are becoming rare as the trees age and die. Indeed, our tree is long dead and had become a danger to park users as it rotted away. Furthermore, the tree had been assessed by elders of the Wurundjeri tribe and they did not believe the tree was a genuine “cultural” scar tree.
Our “faux” scar tree (now a large stump) was on the border of private land which had been significantly (and legally) cleared. Consequently, park users were more exposed to the risk of the tree falling. With the agreement of the Wurundjeri people, Whitehorse Council cut the top of the tree off leaving the scarred part standing in late January, 2013. The felled timber, which disintegrated, remains nearby in the park.
The scar remains visible – could it have been cut for a shield or a canoe ? – what do you think ?