Topics: Culture: North Coastal

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1875 - view

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.

1890s - view

Members of various Northern Shore clans are living at Quakers Hat Bay near Mosman. Carvings can be still seen on the roof of a cave.

1890s - view

Koories of the Terramerragal clan camp from time to time at Fuller’s Bridge, Lane Cove River.

1892 - view

Richard Hill of the Aboriginal Protection Board recalls that the district of “Cammera” extended from the northern part of the harbour ”say from North head to Lane Cove River … right away north to the Hawkesbury and away east to the sea coast”. Daniel Southwell called the entire north shore Gom-ma-ree (Cammeray). Mr Hill would allow Koories to camp at his place in Mosman.

1897 - view

They knew it as ‘Kihimatta’, which in their local dialect meant a “sign of sleeping places”.

1899 - view

The Manly News , 10 March 1899 reports “Twenty years ago, [Alderman] Adam Russell [who had a contracting business] says he unearthed the skeletons of Aboriginals on the flat near Fairy Bower steps, and thinks it must have been a burying place for our dusky predecessors.”

1900s - view

Aboriginal people reported still living at Quakers Hat Bay near Beauty Point, Middle Harbour. (D Keed, 28 May 1984, Manuscript, Local History section, North Sydney Library) Another important area where the northern clans gathered is Narrabeen Lagoon.

1910 - view

Two Aboriginal men photographed fishing from a rowing boat on Narrabeen Lakes.

1910 - view

(Alderman) Frederick Passau writes to the Manly Daily , 31 January 1910, that a stone hatchet, evidently Aboriginal, has been found in a trench at the intersection of Ashburner Street and East Esplanade Manly, on 25 January 1910. Made of Nepean boulder, “no similar stone exists in the vicinity”.

1920s - view

A Koori camp exists near the present Warringah Golf Course. People eat both traditional and European foods, (Dennis Foley, oral history).

1925 - view

Father Browne, a Jesuit priest, visits people whom he identifies as ‘Aborigines’ at Middle Harbour, Spit and publishes two photographs. The site is probably Quakers Hat Bay, near the Spit.

1928 - view

The last known fluent speaker of the Guringai language dies in Ryde.

1931 - view

The ethnographic journal Mankind publishes information about the Cammeray ceremonial ground that is about ten minutes walk from the corner of Frenchs Forest Rd and Mona Vale Rd. It is described as a sloping rock with running water where young boys became men.

1959 - view

Dennis Foley writes (Foley, 2001: 57-8) “Many of our people lived in and around the Narrabeen area long into the 1960s. They were fishermen or worked in rural industry before the 1940s when cattle and farming were still attempted in the northern beach areas. The area that the New South Wales Academy of Sport is built on, was one of our last camps. The National Fitness Camp as it was then known was constructed on the bulldozed foundations of a camp that survived on the urban fringe right up to the late 1950s. … As children we would accompany our uncles fishing for blackfish, crab and prawn. They knew exactly when and where to fish. This was of course before the murder of the lake by pollution”.

1986 - view

A burial is discovered at Avalon Angophora reserve rock shelter site 1 km from coast in Avalon. Remains include a fully articulated woman’s skeleton and her 6 month old baby skeleton in her arms. The woman has a gypsum cap (clay) on her head used for mourning the dead. Two children are also buried in the rock shelter. The skeletons are ritually reburied in 1986 by Aboriginal Site Officers to acknowledge traditional respect for not disturbing the dead.

2000 - view

Many descendants of Matora, Bungaree and other early Sydney identities discover or reaffirm their connection.

2000 - view

Many Indigenous and Indigenous-support organisations are established, including Guringai Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the Aboriginal Heritage Office, Frenchs Forest Parish, Manly Environment Centre, Northern Sydney Region Reconciliation Network, Aboriginal Support Groups in Manly Warringah and Pittwater, Mosman Reconciliation, Harbour to Hawkesbury Reconciliation Group, Bennelong and Surrounds, Hornsby and Lane Cove Residents for Reconciliation and Ku-Ring-Gai Reconciliation Centre.

2000 - view

Establishment of the northside Aboriginal Heritage Office responsible for Indigenous material heritage in Lane Cove, North Sydney, Manly, Ku-ring-gai, Pittwater, Warringah, Willoughby and Armidale Dumaresq Councils. David Watts is the Aboriginal Heritage Officer and Kim Foley is Heritage Officer (Community Volunteers).

2002 - view

“A Story to Tell - On a Road Toward Reconciliation” tells story of formation of the Aboriginal Support Group.

2002 - view

Tale of a Whale by Emma Lee tells an Aboriginal story, in association with the Sydney Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.