Topics: Events: North Coastal

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1845 - view

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the “last Aboriginal of Sydney had died, a beggar who slept outside the gates of the Legislative Assembly”. In reality there were many hundreds of survivors of the invasion.

1849 - view

Bowen Bungaree, Bungaree’s son, sails with other Koories to the Californian gold fields with Richard Hill because of their skill in sailing boats and in the hope to be given jobs to carry the crowds of gold seekers flocking to the Eldorado. Black Bowen is the only one to return. He speaks with ridicule about America, “That country! No wood for fire, but plenty cold wind … no good for me! No good for blackfellows!” On his return Bowen resumes his duties as a Police Tracker and reports to police the activities of two assigned servants (convicts) who had escaped and are petty thieves on the Northern Beaches. The men are captured and sent to prison. Bowen’s reputation is now well established, for example he tracks and uses his gun to hunt the bush-ranger Casey. Bowen wear grand clothes, Farrell describes him: “He was in full rig with dress coat, his hair knotted up behind with three feathers stuck in it”.

1853 - view

Bowen is shot by four white bushrangers at Newport. He is 56 years old. John Farrell relates that a bushranger Casey, who frequented Bushranger’s Hill, had murdered Bowen as he sat by his fire at night. Farrell describes Bowen as “one of the finest darkies I ever met. I looked upon Bowen almost as a brother … and was prepared to … have blood for blood” for Bowen’s murderer. His body is taken to St Lawrence Presbyterian Church cemetery but later his grave is moved to Pioneer Park at Botany.

1881 - view

“Aug 2 nd Went by steamer to Manly, broke up camp, brought Harry, Eliza, Harriet and 5 children to Mr Hills. All readily consented to come. Trip in steamer lovely view – great crowd of blacks in Mr Hill’s yard – fire, plenty of food and blankets … alright except Mrs Beckett and Charley Abbot’s wife … I went to railway station about passes. Mr Gribble (Head of another mission station, Warangesda) to Botany Bay for Ellen and boys. ... Met Sir H Parkes... [the Premier, who] consented to blacks getting the same rations at Maloga [a mission station in Victoria run by Matthews] as in Sydney”.

1959 - view

The Foundation of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines, FCAA (later FCAATSI) is established. This organisation later includes the Indigenous members, Kath Walker (Oodgeroo Nunukal), Mum Shirl, Ken Brindle, Chicka Dixon and Bert Groves.

1959 - view

“Far West Children’s Health Scheme” at Manly is incorporated whose support includes Indigenous children.

1970s - view

Biala Aboriginal Hostel opens in Allambie Heights to accommodate Indigenous young people so they can attend high schools such as MacKellar Girls High School. Biala later grows into an organisation to help Indigenous people with hostel accommodation for students from rural areas and also to help Aboriginal people suffering from homelessness and poor health.

1979 - view

Establishment of Aboriginal Support Group for Manly Warringah Pittwater region.

1993 - view

Establishment of Cooee Classic surf contests from Black Rock to Manly by Virginia Gow and Caroline Glass-Pattison, Lois Birk and others.

2004 - view

Guringai Link Aboriginal Corporation is formed.

2005 - view

The Aboriginal Support Group of the Manly Warringah Pittwater region celebrates 25 years of work to support Aboriginal people. Enid McIlraith tells story of beginnings where they worked alongside Koories for the Long March 1988 and the rescue of the Australia Hall (the site of 1938 Day of Mourning Protest), marching for land rights and many other local events.

2006 - view

Newport Beach artist, Indigenous man Paul Mc Carthy paints a work to be used for flyers and programs of Guringai Festival.

2009 - view

Now in its ninth year, the Guringai Festival celebrates Aboriginal culture and heritage, honouring the traditional homelands of the Guringai people. It aims to raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Northern Sydney region and involves ten councils. Festival events include guided tours of Aboriginal sites, bushwalks, exhibitions and screenings.

2009 - view

The festival involves numerous reconciliation and community groups across New South Wales.

2009 - view

Uncle Bob Waterer continues his work of reconciliation by giving the Welcome to Country speech at Palm Beach for Barton Lynch’s Blast Off surf competition for young people. Redfern Aboriginal Medical service is supported to bring Koorie kids to participate in surf competition.