The breakwater at Port Macquarie carries a thousand memorials graffitied onto the chunks of granite stretching out into the waves of the Pacific. Ordinary folk - families, schoolies, footy teams, mates, poets, artists, jokers and the bereaved have all enshrined a tiny fragment of their lives there. When I walk along reading the randomly jumbled text, I think ‘this is an authentically Australian story.’
There’s a solitary figure sitting on a wharf timber at the Western end. The curious pause to read and discover it’s Edmund Barton, Australia’s first Prime Minister, holding the Constitution he helped draft. Some sit beside him for a selfie before heading off for fish and chips.
I see another splinter of our Australian story. I read that around the birth of our modern nation in 1900, Barton said boldly, ‘God means to give us this federation’. Why would he say that?
Join The Outback Historian, Paul Roe, on an unforgettable journey into Australia's Past as he follows the footprints of the Master Storyteller and uncovers unknown treasures of the nation.