In 2017, Action Heritage assisted Aunty Matilda House to apply to list the Red Hill Camp on the ACT Heritage Register. The ACT Government is now calling for public feedback about a provisional listing of the site. You can have your say until 22nd October.
Red Hill Camp is a small, non-descript park in the inner-city suburb of Griffith, within a couple of kilometres of Parliament House. In the 1940s, Matilda camped in this park with her brother Arnold and her grandparents Cissy and Lightning Williams. They worked at the old Narrabundah Homestead (now Endeavour Street). The park and surrounding suburb was built in the 1920s after Canberra was announced as Australia’s capital. However, it is likely that Aboriginal people were camping along the nearby creekline a long time before European colonisation of the Limestone Plains. Red Hill Camp must be seen in the context of the wider cultural landscape of Ngunnawal Country. This one small camp is representative of the broader network of campsites and pathways that local Aboriginal families used to live and work on their Country up until the present day. Rivers and creeks were important food sources across Australia and were often used as pathways by Indigenous people.