Boatswain Mahroot tells a parliamentary enquiry that the Aboriginal people living at Botany Bay have come from the Five Islands. Mahroot reports that he was born on the Cook’s River and his country is as far as Botany Bay around the sea coast away from the heads of Port Jackson to the heads at Botany Bay. The Enquiry continues:
" How far inland?" "Very little far inland where I am now." When the chairman asks "how far was your country?" he replies: "It went to Liverpool because Liverpool black fella speak another language and Five Islands speak another language again. He thinks there were 400 people who spoke his language in his tribe." "What did the people live on?" "Generally on fish, and fern root." "And your tribe do not go far from the sea coast?" "No, always on the sea coast in the bay." "‘When did the number of your tribe begin to diminish?" "They used to fight about town" he replies. "Knock about like the deuce in liquor. To that degree they took to liquor", says Mahroot. "At least they went away very fast. It was the only thing that destroyed them."
"How many people are still alive from those 400?" "I should say 50, but belong to Botany mind you sir, different people raised up here in different times." "How many people left who speak your language, not the Liverpool language?" "Only four, three women, and I’m the only man." "What was the name of your people?" "They do give them a name, I do not know what it was." "What do the Liverpool blacks call you?" "Botany Bay murah." "What does murah mean?" "Your place." "Other black fellas live with them who come from the country tribes?" "Yes." "And they have come to live there because your tribe have died?" He answers yes. "What do the people eat now?". "They can pick fish about the rocks and possums inland." "How many possums used to be aroundWhen he was a kid?" "He could get enough to make a rug in a week – that is, 20 or 30." Moving on to Mahroot's philosophy, the Committee asks, "What happens when you die?" Mahroot replies, "I may go to a bad place, maybe a good place, according to my punishment." "What do you think will become of you when you die?" "I believe go somewhere else." "What did you used to wear?" "Sometimes they had teatree bark and sometimes kangaroo skins from foreign parts from the Liverpool black fellows, Lake Macquarie, and Five Islands. They came from these foreign parts. Mahroot has a garden, he says, with cabbages and pumpkins, but the cows came down and knocked down the fence when he was away fishing."