I acknowledge the Bunurong as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land where I am temporarily residing. I give respect to the Elders — past and present — and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
A long held dream has arrived in the form of two weeks of dedicated art time. Sharing this with my buddy in art Thea Bates is one of the most relaxing and inspiring times I’ve had in many years. We are both working at our art every day, going for walks, cooking and talking up a storm. Sharing ideas and methods as we’ve been planning since 2017 when we majored in painting together.
Point Nepean has had a mixed history since the colonisers arrived. From the 1840s when lime burning kilns dotted the area to the many years that the quarantine station was operational; from the military cadet school with its weapons training areas to Operation Safe Haven in 1999 when 400 Kosovars were offered refuge here from the Serbian-Albanian conflict. You can learn much from the transcript of the Park Victoria audio tour of Point Nepean.
Now one of its offerings is a supported artist residency in the historic gatekeeper’s cottage. Dating from c.1888, the cottage was initially built for the quarantine boatmen. Minor changes have been made to the building over time and an extension now forms the studio space. The entire cottage was renovated to heritage standards in recent years.
This is a nationally significant cultural heritage site located in the traditional lands of the Burin’yong-bulluk, one of at least six clans of the Bunurong who were part of the Kulin Nation of central Victoria. Known for thousands of years as a meeting place, this end of the Mornington Peninsula is known as having special meaning for women.
My thanks go to the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Arts & Culture team, especially Jane German.