Topics: Environment

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South Coastal - view

polluted Cook’s River

South Coastal - view

trail bikes had destroyed bush

South West - view

quicksands that have disappeared due to development

South West - view

Auntie Frances also discusses how these permanent waters are being depleted

West - view

At the headwaters of the Grose River, Chris Tobin , a Darug man, describes what is happening to this land and desire to re-habilitate and build there and create a “more earth friendly” way of living back on his ancestors’ land.

1789 - North West - view

yams in “greatest plenty” on the marshy banks

1796 - West - view

yam beds

1804 - South Coastal - view


1804 - North Coastal - view

An increase in number of conflicts when the “maize was ripe”. Farming has largely prevented access to the river for food gathering for the Aboriginal people. Many are starving. The Koori view of life is that food is there to be gathered, in one’s own country, and the ripe corn has replaced the wild daisy yams that have grown on the river banks. Many farmers use Aboriginal labour to help them gather crops but fail to pay them adequately for their work. If Koori people cross farmers’ land they are liable to be shot at. Governor King hears testimony from three Koori men that if they can retain certain places on the lower Hawkesbury, they will be satisfied and not in trouble the farmers. King rashly assures them that no more settlements will be made lower down the Hawkesbury – north-coastal country. ( Historical Records of New South Wales , vol 5, p. 513)

1809 - South Coastal - view


1810 - North Coastal - view

Koori diets are already affected by the scarcity of fish in the harbour. To compensate, people are beginning to use European foodstuff.

1810 - South Coastal - view


1814 - South West - view

time of drought

1814 - South Coastal - view


1816 - South Coastal - view


1816 - North Coastal - view

Five more areas are set out as agriculture reserves for Aboriginal people. These people are to receive seed, tools, stores and clothes and are given convicts for six months to help with cultivation.

1816 - South Coastal - view


1820s - North Coastal - view

Northern Sydney clans are in decline due to dispossession of their land and removal of their access to the food traditionally gathered by the sea. The Koori birth rate decreases. Paintings of the period show Koori people with grog bottles and fighting, existing on charity in the streets of Sydney. Alcohol has tragic consequences in illness and mortality

1820 - South Coastal - view


1821 - South West - view

fertile soil produced by flooding