If you didn’t know already, Parramatta Park is full of some of Australia’s oldest colonial historical buildings.
From the old government house, Wisteria House and an old dairy farm, an hour stroll through the park and you will discover many historical buildings left over from a period in time, which as both dark and enlightening for varying reasons.
In October 2019, I booked myself and partner in for a Halloween ghost tour of the old government house after I happened across an online article which detailed how haunted the house was. I love exploring old historical buildings, especially from the colonial period in Australia. But I particularly love it when they also do ghost tours of the same location at night. So you can experience it both in the day and at night.
Since the ghost tour, we had planned to come back in the day to re-explore the house in the day, as the Halloween tour was done by candle light, which made things really difficult to see. I seriously don’t know how people survived before electricity.
What we didn’t anticipate, is after we explored the old government house and got into the car to then exit from the park, we discovered a whole hidden history laying in wait to be discovered which probably goes unknown and unseen by thousands of people every year, who have either driven straight past the historical building, or rather have never actually been to Parramatta Park.
I won’t go into too much historical detail about each property, because I’ll be honest, there is so much information about each one and a lot of it is very analytical with information on who lived in each place, visited and who ran political offices there. But I will say, each house is a fascinating to explore and learn about Australia’s past. Despite how dirty and dark it may be.
After discovering so many great places to visit in the park, we opted to park the car and take a stroll to explore all the wonderful places Parramatta Park has to offer.
All historical fact aside, in the turbulent world we live in, where many people wish to erase the past and start anew, I somewhat feel saddened that people wish to destroy that which formed out future.
I read an article on the Daily News the other day which reflected on the issues happening around the world at present, where people are going around ripping down statues and demanding history be erased. In Poland, many members of public and political members were asked on whether they would wish to have the Auschwitz concentration camp torn down.
I found the response from the Polish people really interesting. They said no. Auschwitz remains as a reminder for the people of what their race endured at the hands of the Nazis and how they were treated. It stands as a message and as a lesson that we should never let this happen again to any race.
This got me thinking about our colonial history here in Australia. I respect and understand for many, it would represent a very dark time for the Aboriginal people. But I see it as a reminder that we should never let this happen to any culture or race of people ever again. Unity and assimilation are key to us evolving into the type of people we are supposed to be in the 21st century.
It’s also worth mentioning that my family on my late mother’s side are polish, from Prussia actually, which no longer exists and was completely wiped out essentially. Though a portion of my family managed to escape through the UK and migrate to Australia (hence why I am alive today), we did lose many family members, who were taken into camps and killed by the Nazis.
So, I feel a very strong connection to the past and what we should learn from it.
Not divided by anger and hate, at the hands of the past. Life lessons learned from our past, no matter how dark, should always be remember and never forgotten. And for me, I find learning more about our historical past here in Australia, during the colonial period is a way of me paying homage and respect to the lives who suffered during the colonial period – for both white and black. As many whites were terribly treated by the colonisation also.
I will respect the past of Australia and learn from the mistakes, in the hopes that I can help form the future we all deserve. No matter the colour of your skin, the race of your people or the religion you follow.