Contemplation SeatPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Robert Morris

The seat commemorates the contribution of the Aboriginal women who were forced into slavery from the early 1800s to 1833.


Address:Frenchmans Terrace & Cheopis Street, Penneshaw, 5222
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.721823
Long: 137.945648
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Seat
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:
Approx. Event End Date:1833


Front Inscription

Contemplation Seat

This is a very special place - a place to sit and think about a little known period of Australian history.  From the early 1800s until slavery was abolished in British colonies in 1833, Aboriginal women from the coastal areas including Cape Jervis, the Coorong, Yankalilla, Port Lincoln and as far away as Tasmania were kidnapped by sealers and forced to hunt seals.

The sealing industry was one of the colony`s first industries and sealskins an important trading item.  The success of the colony of Australia was built on the labour of these Aboriginal women workers.   Some sealers had up to five women working for them in the sealing grounds which stretched from Western Australia to Kangaroo Island and Bass Strait.

The women also made shelters, hunted, gathered and cooked food, found water, made clothes and rugs, tracked missing people and acted as sexual partners for the men.  They were often brutally treated but women like Sally, Big Sal, Suke, Betty Old Wauber and many others will be remembered as strong, adaptable and resourceful survivors who continued their cultural traditions even though they were far from their homes and families.

This seat initiates a process of reconciliation and healing for Aboriginal people and for the community of Kangaroo Island and recognises the contribution of the women.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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