The Dicks of Jerusalem

Sometime around the 1800s, John and Robert Dixon are sitting around the campfire. They are drunk of rum and slightly hallucinating after eating a toxic bush berry. The following conversation ensues:

John: “Lemme tell ya Bob, good on ya for discovering this beautiful place. You are a true explorer. Where are we again?”

Robert: “Bloody hell Jonny boy, we’ve invaded so many places, I don’t even remember anymore, hahaha…maybe somewhere in Asia?”

John: “I’ll tell you what Bobo, you should name this place, you totally own it. I mean, you earned it cobber”.

Robert: “Don’t worry mate, I have a plan. This campground we are sitting on shall be named Dixon’s Kingdom. The mountain to the south will be called Robert’s throne, the lake over there should be called Dixon’s bath”

John: “You’re a dick Robert. Don’t you think you can be a little more imaginative? It might get confusing for visitors if everything is named after Robert Dixon. We should have kept some of those natives alive so that we learn how they name those places.”

Robert: “Shut up, I have a vision; I see this landscape, it is sacred. It is holy. You know what else is holy?”.

John: “What?”

Robert: “Jerusalem”.

John: “What!?”

Robert: “Yeah, Jerusalem. I can see it. 5000 years ago, Moses and the Hebrews traversed this wild country on the back of kangaroos on their way to bring the Holy Spirit to the final resting place at the old temple. They were guided by an old Wombat. Then, the kings, Solomon and David, bathed in these lakes with their 72 Virgins”

John: “Wait, isn’t the virgins a Muslim thing?”

Robert: “Shut up John, I’m having a vision. Anyway. To commemorate Jesus, the king of the Jews, we shall name this place The Walls of Jerusalem. Look around you John, these rocks hold the Holy Spirit inside them. They are the symbol of the great people who walked this land to realise their destiny. We shall honour them”.

John: “Wow Bob, I think you are high. But I like it. I think I’m a little high too. Are you sure those berries were edible? I have a tummy ache”.

Narrator: “And so, Dickheads named this place, with utter disregard for the aboriginal place names. If an Israeli immigrant can learn English to live in Australia, surely, Australians can respect the traditional custodians of the land by using Aboriginal place names. The Walls of Jerusalem. What an offensive nonsense name for a beautiful place that deserves better. Doesn’t look anything like Jerusalem. Not even a little bit.”


The events described above may not have occurred, but something similar did. Despite the bitter aroma of the text, the writer had a brilliant time hiking the two night circular track and he highly recommends it. However, expectations to encounter anything that even vaguely resembles Jerusalem must be lowered when embarking on the journey. There are some pine trees but they aren’t Jerusalem pines. There’s much more fresh, crystal clear water from ancient glacial lakes, (Jerusalem has barely any fresh water), and the rock is mostly dolerite and not the limestone common to Jerusalem. Finally, the wildlife cannot be more different and there is no conflict at all (or at least no one walks around with guns but the long running dispute resulting from colonial occupation lives on).

Lutruwita 2021

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