Koori coast

Place and memory - Steve Russell's childhood at Larpa

I was born and raised at Larpa [La Perouse] … go up every chance I can get. My mother and sister and brother still live there … the place hasn't changed much really. My mother still does the shellwork. Steve Russell

Steve Russell, Artist and educator (Full transcript)
Drawing: La Perouse wharf
The Wharf at La Perouse
by Steve Russell.
Charcoal on paper. [+] enlarge

Steve Russell has been reconstructing the history of his family at La Perouse, ('Larpa'), on the northern headland of Botany Bay.

Steve fondly remembers his childhood at Larpa and the visits of tourists on day trips from Sydney. He recalls his uncles demonstrating boomerang throwing, his grandmother and mother selling their shellwork, and kids diving for coins off the wharf.

Painting: Footprints on the Georges River
Footprints on the Georges River by Steve Russell, Acrylic on canvas. [+] enlarge.

As well as drawings from memory of the wharf at Larpa, Steve produces painting of his country, around Botany Bay and the Georges River.

Me and my uncles and all the kids would pile in the cars and spend the day in the mangroves fishing and getting oysters. Steve Russell

Photo: boomerangs
Steve holding some boomerangs he has made, demonstrating the use of the "knees". [+] enlarge.
Photo: Daphne Nash
In the mangroves, they collected 'knees', the bent pieces of mangrove wood from which boomerangs could easily be made.