Wurundjeri Elder Murrindindi unveiling the commemorative plaques at Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Reserve.
A further meaningful outcome from my writing of The Last Cry had been my involvement with the Hill in Kangaroo Ground upon which the novel had both opened and closed; a hill which I’d needed to visit frequently during the writing of the novel when it had been in an extremely unloved state. This became a further reason for me not considering it a suitable venue for the Shire’s Apology of 9 March 1998.
In 1997, following the launch of The Last Cry, I’d written to Don Cordell, the State Government’s Chair of the Nillumbik Commissioners of the period, complaining about the neglect and asking that an Advisory Committee be appointed to oversee its refurbishment.
An Advisory Committee was duly appointed and I served upon this for a further 14 productive years. During this period we arranged to have the reserve brought up to its present highly commendable state. Into what had been until then a gravelled driveway leading up into a run-down park, we introduced new carriageways, a new amenities block, picnic tables, bronze plaques, a flagpole. Also introduced was a new fire-spotting cabin complete with spiral stairway as replacement for the ancient steep ladder to the top-deck, plus the iconic Moor-rul Viewing Platform with displays designed to tell the Hill’s Wurundjeri Story to the thousands who now visit the site each year.
After the Launch of my twenty-first book, Kangaroo Ground Dreaming, commemorating the Wurundjeri story of that same Kangaroo Ground Hill, I successfully made my move to have a large rock and plaque installed on the hill’s western slopes.