The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney: Talk and Exhibition

From late May to mid-June, Bayside Council will be highlighting the historical stories of the Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney.  To discover more come and join us for two fascinating events.

History Talk by Dr Paul Irish – Hidden in Plain View

WHEN: 9 June 2017 – 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
WHERE: Rockdale Library, Meeting Room 3
RSVP via Eventbrite

Hidden in Plain View front cover_SmallContrary to what you may think, local Aboriginal people did not lose their culture and die out within decades of Governor Phillip’s arrival in Sydney in 1788. Aboriginal people are prominent in accounts of early colonial Sydney, yet we seem to skip a century as they disappear from the historical record, re-emerging early in the twentieth century – a time when they were assumed to be from somewhere else.What happened to Sydney’s Aboriginal people between the devastating impact of white settlement and increased government intervention a century later?

Book available for purchase from the author after the talk.

IMAGE: GE Peacock 1847, Port Jackson N.S.W. View in Double Bay S. Side Middle Head in the distance (near sunset), State Library of New South Wales DG 37.

This Is Where They Travelled Image

This Is Where They Travelled: Travelling Exhibition by Dr Paul Irish and researchers from the La Perouse Aboriginal community

WHEN: 24 May – 16 June 2017, Mon – Fri 10am-6pm, Sat – 10am – 1pm 
WHERE: Mascot Library & George Hanna Memorial Museum

This Is Where They Travelled profiles the lives of a number of Aboriginal people who lived around the coastal part of Sydney between the early 1800s and the 1930s.

To outsiders, these people seemed to have lost the ‘authentic’ Aboriginality of their ancestors. However their travel tells a different story, as they continued to move, marry and live almost exclusively within areas which they were connected to by ancestry.

While their lives changed as the city grew, their connections maintained meaning as they were passed down through generations, with their patterns of movement, settlement and marriages across the coast being the constant rhythm that connects past and present.

The exhibition was developed as part of the Arts NSW 2015 NSW History Fellowship by historian Dr Paul Irish and researchers from the La Perouse Aboriginal community, many of whom are descendants of one or more of the Aboriginal people featured in the exhibition. It was launched in Sydney at History House during NAIDOC 2016 and is now a touring exhibition.

IMAGES L-R: Johnny Malone (Courtesy NSW NPWS Collection, Kurnell), Ellen Anderson (SLNSW PXA 773), Emma Timbery (Woollahra Local History Centre), Thomas Tamara (South Australian Museum AA8/4/2/3). Background Artwork by Kerri-Ann Youngberry


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