Census indications

This “census” indicates that Aboriginal people living in the Hunter Valley and Hawkesbury-Hunter ranges are taking refuge in elevated hinterland areas that initially lay outside the lands of first European agricultural interest on valley floors. These areas are gaps in the grid of settler landholding that Aboriginal people could use and move through in an increasingly colonised region from the 1820s. Another fringe landform that Aboriginal people occupy is the large swamps and wetlands that are prominent features of some intensely settled areas such as the Paterson Valley. Lake Paterson is one important wetland. It is increasingly drained for agriculture from the 1820s. (Lucas, 41).