Rottnest Island Mass Grave - ground probing radar
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0 Hours 10 Minutes
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Audio Book Summary
Rottnest Island became a part of history how Europeans settled Australia through imprisoning Indigenous Australians in the last 200 years.
Rottnest Island is a tourist island off the coast of the state of Western Australia where Australians go to relax at the beach, go swimming and scuba diving but it's only recently been discovered as a prison where Indigenous Australians' were locked up and also many lost their lives and were buried in a mass grave.
In the 1970's while laying pipes for a sewerage system, George Pergament talks of how skeletons were falling in on his workmen. But the discovery of these human bones were covered up and never talked about again.
In the 1990's there was a push by certain people to get the mass grave confirmed and protected under the heritage act of Western Australian state law. Thus researcher Paul Alladyce investigated and confirmed the mass grave by a number of methods. He also spoke to an old man in his early 90's, Jack O'Donahue who saw bodies being thrown into a mass grave as a young boy, as his father was one of the Wardens of the Rottnest Island Prison.
The state government of Western Australia approved of a Ground Probing Radar to confirm that the soil deep down had been disturbed confirming that the ground had been dug up many years ago. The ground probing radar had confirmed that there was a mass grave of over 300 bodies of Indigenous Australian's.
The Premier of the State of Western Australia made a speech how the Rottnest island grave needed to be protected. It was fenced off, with a road and holiday houses removed. The Mass Grave was also on a place called 'Tent Land' where thousands of tourists had slept in tents on top of the mass grave for many years without people knowing. Tent land was also fenced off.
The Quadrangle (the old prison) was known as the quad, was a place where over 3000 men were imprisoned and hundreds had died. The wardens were quite brutal where Indigenous men were hung in the middle of the quad in front of other men. Many died of over cramped damp conditions of many diseases and buried in the mass grave.
People called for the Quad to be turned into a museum of history but sadly the quad was turned into a hotel against people's wishes cause there was too much money involved in tourism. So now you have tourists who now sleep in rooms which used to be prison cells where many men died.