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Mount Melville

Author

City of Albany

Place Number

15535
There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.

Location

Serpentine & Hanrahan Rd Mt Melville

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Mokare Park

Local Government

Albany

Region

Great Southern

Construction Date

Demolition Year

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category A

Category A

• Worthy of the highest level of protection. Recommended for entry into the State Register of Heritage Places which gives legal protection. • Provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the City of Albany Town Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. • Development requires consultation with the City of Albany and the Albany Heritage Advisor. • A more detailed Heritage Assessment/Impact Statement to be undertaken before approval given for any additional or redevelopment • Incentives to promote heritage conservation should be considered.

Statement of Significance

Mt Melville has important natural and Aboriginal heritage significance.

Physical Description

A class and C class reserve
Significant ademelite granatoid formation which along with Mt Clarence dominate the town of Albany
Woodland and scrub growth is stunted except in protected areas
Mostly native flora

History

Captain George Vancouver named Mt Melville after the Viscount Melville, first Lord of the Admiralty in 1791. However, the history of the Mt Melville area lies in its use as a traditional site for the local Minang dialect language speaking group of the Noongar Aboriginal people. The traditional meeting site of Mt Melville was an important place for dancing, trading, rituals and marriage arrangements.
Within the boundaries of Mt Melville is Mokare Park an area of natural bushland named in 1978 in honour of Mokare, a pre and post settlement guide and companion to French and English explorers. Mokare is one of the best known Noongars of his generation. His naturally open disposition enabled him to make friends with a visiting French scientific expedition in 1826 and the well-known portrait of Mokare dates from that encounter.
De Sainson sketched the portrait and the original is held in Paris.
Mokare's family were traditional owners of the Albany are. Nakina as the eldest brother was the head of the family. However, Mokare became a key figure through the role he developed as a guide mentor and interpreter to the colonists, and the good relationships he fostered between Aboriginal people and the new arrivals.
Mokare soon learnt to speak English and developed close relationships with senior members of the British party. He often stayed with Captain Barker and went hunting and fishing with him. He taught them a great deal about the country, the natural environment and the traditional Noongar way of life. He also led the colonists on expeditions across the region and assisted them in the search for escaped prisoners. His willingness to share his culture was developed even further when Dr Collie took over as the first Government Resident for King George Sound. He was also appreciated for his sense of humour and his mimicry, especially of some of the settlers with Scottish accents (particularly Collett Barker).
In June 1831 Mokare (at age 30-35) fell ill with influenza and on the 9th August he died in Dr Collie's living room. Mokare's brother Nakina prepared his body for burial and the next day Collie dug Mokare's grave under instruction for Nakina and participated in the funeral that was attended by everyone in the settlement both European and Aboriginal. The location of Mokare's remains is thought to in the vicinity of the car park behind the current Town Hall.
Aboriginal society has a strong tradition of sharing and this is reflected in the response of people like Mokare to the first European arrivals. Early expeditions tended to visit for a short while before moving on and it was probably some time before it became clear that the British group that arrived on Christmas Day 1826 intended to stay permanently. Although disease was to quickly decimate the local Minang population, it is probably largely owing to the role played by Mokare that bloodshed was avoided in Albany.
The third Aboriginal Reserve to be conceived in the Albany region was established in 1962 on the southwest side of Mt Melville on a site within the current Heritage Park. This land is now vested in the Aboriginal Lands Trust and the Albany Aboriginal Corporation. Camp sites were maintained across the extent of Mt Melville throughout this century, separate from the official reserves. The most notable camps were those of; Wandinyl, Paddy Coyne and Bernie Inman. Wandiyl's (aka Tommy King) camp was above Serpentine Road. A photo of Wandinyl in his bush camp was taken in 1903 and is available at the Albany Local Studies Library Collection.
Paddy Coyne's camp, was situated immediately south of the current Paddy Coyne flats and Bernie Inman's camp could be found near the reserve, this is mentioned in his obituary in the Albany Advertiser in 1988.
Since European settlement the area has also been mined for granite and since World War II has been used as a rubbish land fill site. The area has also been subject to incursion by urbanisation, ferrel fauna and exotic flora.
Since 1994 there has been attempts to rejuvenate the area for use for passive recreation.

Integrity/Authenticity

Modifications: Incursion of exotic species of flora, Granite mining has left scars
Rubbish fill site and Ferrel fauna

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Australian Heritage Commission Report 1994
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999
Heritage Database 1994
W Howard; "Notes relating to Mt Melville and Duck Lake for Heritage Documentation". Albany Aboriginal Corporation 1999
"Mokare-Elder and Peacemaker,". pp.15-29 Notes prepared with the use of Ferguson, WC 􀀰􀁒􀁎􀁄􀁕􀁈􀂶􀁖􀀃􀀧􀁒􀁐􀁄􀁌􀁑 in Australians to 1788 Fairfax Syme and Weldon 1987 and Green, Neville Aborigines of the Albany Region UWA Press 1989
Town of Albany Heritage Survey City of Albany 1994

Place Type

Geological monument

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use PARK\RESERVE Park\Reserve

Creation Date

17 Mar 2000

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

01 Jan 2017

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.