Even today, gazing across the valley of the Plenty River from the Greensborough side, Briar Hill looks verdant. While electric wires and rooftops poke through the abundance of leaves in many places, the area as a whole seems to have retained many more of the eucalypts that once covered the entire hill than most other places. Partially, this a legacy of the construction practices of the area, where streets were laid out with contours following those of the hill itself, leading to the creation of a veritable maze that only the canny locals can navigate confidently.
This is no accident.
The labyrinthine roads of Briar Hill are not meant to be escaped easily: the area was founded as a tribute to the idea that without struggle, without weights to carry or pricks to kick against, humanity is nothing. Malcolm Fraser never set foot here, but if he had, he would have found a community that agreed with him that “life wasn’t meant to be easy” (albeit about little else). Briar Hill has been this way ever since it was named and dedicated in the second ritual of the Ritual of the Seven Hills, the Ritual of Obstacles, which deliberate invokes sufficient adversity to achieve greatness, as a necessary part of any worthwhile endeavour.
Briar Hill has grown easier to escape over the years (the construction of several bridges over the Plenty River being the major reason why), but then, the Ritual of the Seven Hills has long since failed. Still, if any part of it can be considered a success, it would be the Ritual of Obstacles, although this is largely because the ritual was incorrectly performed in the first place: it is not intended to gather adversity, but rather to acknowledge its inevitability and importance. In this, at least, the people of Briar Hill have succeeded.
Suburbs near Briar Hill: