HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW The Aboriginal people of Coastal Sydney
BY PAUL IRISH
The National Museum of Australia has developed a spectacular exhibition on Cook called Endeavour Voyage which has been launched as an online exhibition here. New sections of the exhibition are going live in synch with the ship's voyage up the east coast. The section on Cook's first landfall at Kamay (Botany Bay), is now live. I had the privilege of working with the Gadhungal Research Program at La Perouse to develop the content for this section and you can check it out here.
La Perouse community members have also been posting their perspectives on that event and its aftermath, which you can read on the Gujaga Foundation website here. You can also read a very thoughtful piece about the encounter in 1770 from senior Dharawal man Dr Shayne Williams here.
Also with the Gadhungal Research Program, I have co-authored (with Ray Ingrey and Dr Shane Ingrey) a chapter on the first Aboriginal words heard by the crew of the Endeavour as part of the Sutherland Shire Historical Society book East Coast Encounters 1770: Reflections on a Cultural Clash. The book is now available and can be purchased through the Historical Society here.
You can also continue to learn about Sydney's Aboriginal history online at the following links:
Sydstories - The Sydney Airport centenary website launched in 2019
Barani Aboriginal Sydney - a detailed guide to some of the Aboriginal people and places around the City of Sydney (accompanied by maps and a guidebook so you can visit the places yourself)
Australian Museum - the museum website has information about how Aboriginal people lived around coastal Sydney before the arrival of Europeans
Aboriginal people wanting to research their ancestors can find resources to help get started here. And if you have any questions about where to begin, or you are stuck trying to track down some information, join myself, fellow historian Michael Bennett and special guests in August and September on our weekly Aboriginal family history zoom sessions, which you can book here.
If you think history is important, please read the Value of History Statement launched in 2019 by the History Council of NSW. You can read the statement and endorse it yourself here.
UPCOMING TALKS & EVENTS
I had planned a break from most speaking engagements in 2020 before COVID-19 made that the only option, but I will continue to post about any upcoming activities here. The 250th anniversary of the arrival of Cook and the Endeavour in Australia provides a good opportunity to reflect on the meaning of this event by checking out these perspectives from local Aboriginal people: