TheFulcrum.Agency were invited by COX Architecture to contribute to a Masterplan for the North Head Sanctuary site at the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Currently under the auspices of the Sydney Harbour Trust, the Sanctuary site on North Head (Car-rang-gel) has deep meaning to the Gayamagal people of the Eora Nation and is a place of significance within the modern Australian story.
1774 - 1828
Our role in the project was to deliver a high-level introduction to the site’s ancient and contemporary Aboriginal history, and an overview of the geology and hydrology, flora and fauna unique to the site. Our primer outlined four Design Principles that could underpin the Masterplan going forward:
Agency – ensure appropriate community engagement and decision-making in the ongoing governance and development of the masterplan design.
Dialogue and Restoration – look for opportunities to restore landscape and encourage dialogue across shared histories.
Care – seek opportunities to embed custodianship within the project masterplan. Look for economic opportunities through ongoing landscape care and maintenance.
Language and Naming – optimise opportunities for use of Gayamagal language in naming of places and wayfinding.
Lithograph by William Fernyhough
Cora Gooseberry was a Sydney identity from the 1820s-1840s. Also known as Queen Gooseberry, Cora’s Aboriginal name was recorded as Kaaroo, Carra, Caroo, Car-roo or Ba-ran-gan.
Governor Macquarie and other social leaders presented Aboriginal people with breastplates identifying them as kings and queens to encourage cooperation and loyalty.
In 1845, Cora Gooseberry reluctantly revealed the locations of various rock carvings on North Head to the Police Commissioner.
The primer then went on to outline a series of Spatial Opportunities that could address the four Design Principles, including the development of new walking tracks to highlight Gayamagal history, heritage and language and the inclusion of a museum to recognise, among other things, the contribution of First Nations peoples to our war efforts.
This work is intended to be preliminary in nature and to act as a prompt for more detailed conversations with Traditional Custodians as the project develops.