MITTAMORPH – Thundering  Sweet Waters ( translation of koori names – Mitta-Mitta & Kiewa Rivers) (Andy Kimber 1988)

A.    Yaithmatang / Dudoroa – Koori Tribes

The world was bountiful for humans and marsupials
Tiger-snakes, tree frogs, spiney cray, Trout Cod
Yaithmatang they wandered here for least 4000 snows
Ever burning scrub and bush – so open grass would grow
Camping on the Kiewa in the sun, wind, mist and rain
Unaware approaching storms – bore clouds of death and pain

Earth was mother – yet mystical to Dudoroa people
Black swans and ducks, emus, Rainbow Parrots.

At the moth – meet they were told the horror of the coasts
Huge canoes and stick-spit-fire, killing by white ghosts
And proud Theddora warriors not only traded clay
Loping down a Bogong ridge with smallpox in their veins.
Survival was a tragedy for soul –broken Koori
Waiting to die – it was genocide

B.    Pioneers – 1830’s – 1900

Well life was constant battle, for squatters and drought cattle
Flame torch and gun in hand – fighting alien land
They beat the forest back with axe, cross-cut and dray
Draining reed lined billabongs – for red- flanked cows to graze
Cattle roamed the Bogongs – after spring had slowed the frost
Mitta miners sluiced the banks – to take gold from grey dust
Days were pick and shovel, then years in bush block hovels
Selections bridled with wire, besieged by debt, pest and fire

C.   20th Century Change

Building the roadways and the railways and the towns
When Great War was over – lower Mitta was blocked and drowned
Millers high on darkened spurs cut messmate, Alpine Ash
While fox and rabbit, blackberry curse diebacked the ancient bush

But harvests were bountiful from super- pushed clover
Prime beef and cream, complete Australian dream

Horse erased by motor, telephone and vision wired the world
Cabled towers of snowy power and skies with jumbo trails
Thundering sweet waters by computer now controlled
Dammed flow at Dart and Hume hydroed and tubed and sold
Bright lights target buyers, pined hills, skiers, hang gliders
There’s no backward glance to Bunjil’s frozen stance