Brisbane Waters

In the 1842 blanket distribution in Brisbane Waters and Gosford, 27 men received blankets. The 1848 Census showed a population of 50 Koori people in the whole of the Brisbane Waters area. (Some may have been absent, of course, in other areas of Guringai-speaking country.) European settlement was severely impacting on the natural environment. NSW Surveyor-General Major Mitchell wrote “the omission of the annual periodical burning by natives, of grass and young saplings, has already produced in the open forest lands nearest Sydney, thick forests of young trees, where formerly a man might gallop without impediment and see miles before him”. (Bennett 1969)

In 1875 Billy Fawkner was a Koori servant of the Ward family in Brisbane Waters, who helped to raise the children. During the 1860s and 70s he would travel to Dural to sell oysters and fish. With the money he would buy tea, sugar, flour, tobacco and pipes from the general store. The poet Henry Kendall knew Billy and wrote about him. King Billy’s cave was about 2 kilometres south of Berowra Creek. His wife Sal is said to have lived in a nearby cave.


Brisbane Waters
33° 27' 50.0004" S, 151° 19' 57" E
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