Topics: Sites: Community: North Coastal

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a family cave on Cowan Creek


a family cave beside Cowan Creek


Narabeen Lakes a central site


Narrabeen camp


8 acre parcel of land at Blue Haven


Narrabeen Lagoon


a family cave on Cowan Creek

1828 - view

The first Census of the native population is taken in the Brisbane Water by Magistrate Bean. He reports five family groups of natives (he refers to them as tribes). These family groups are centred at Broken Bay (15 people), Erina (10), Narara (10), Tuggerah Beach (15) and Wyong (15). The groups are: The Mial or Broken Bay; Narara; Erina; Tuggerah Beach; Wyong. He estimates a total of 65 persons. He notes evidence of recent Koori settlement at Kincumber, Patonga, Somersby, Ourimbah, Wyong River, Jilliby Creek valleys, Tuggerah Beach, Munmorah-Norah Head, Mangrove, Kulnurra.

1829 - view

William Govett surveys the Northern Beaches and writes of the Koories living a traditional life style along the coast. He describes, in the Saturday Magazine, large numbers of Aboriginal people at Cowan Creek, Broken Bay and Barrenjoey. Govett draws Garigal people fishing at Bilgola Beach and North Narrabeen.

1830s - view

Bungaree’s clan is still living from time to time at Georges Head.

1837 - view

The ( Sydney Gazette , 2 Feb 1837) reported that Bridget Riley an Aboriginal native arrayed in a robe of spotless white, which contrasted strongly with her skin, was charged with having suffered from the influence of ‘bool’: she stated that she sat down [lived] at Broken Bay, to which place she was ordered to betake herself with all speed, and not be again seen drunk in the streets of Sydney.

1874 - view

Mrs Janet Kennedy (nee Williams) recalls “that the Manly district contained a number of Aboriginal camps”.

1880s - view

Photo taken by Harry Wolstenholme of Aboriginal group of women, probably near Wiseman’s Ferry on the Hawkesbury River.

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.

1897 - view

At a meeting of Manly Council on 10 June 1899, reference made to the naming of what has become known as Little Manly Point. Alderman Charles Tucker states that a letter from George Thornton, Chairman of the Aborigines Protection Board, suggested that this point of land should retain the original name by which it was known to the local tribe. This tribe was the remnant of a former large tribe, and its members regarded this point of land, on which were their “gibbah gunyahs”, as their living area. They knew it as ‘Kihimatta’, which in their local dialect meant a “sign of sleeping places”.

1900s - view

Aboriginal people reported still living at Quakers Hat Bay near Beauty Point, Middle Harbour.

1900s - view

Numbers of Aboriginal people at Sackville Reserve are diminishing. By the 1930s only one person remains. Many descendants now live around Blacktown.

1940s - view

In the 1950s Dennis visits Narrabeen Lakes regularly with his uncles or his mother or grandmother, who lives at Curl Curl, bringing provisions like a bag of flour or a cake.

1986 - view

The first Land Rights claims are made on Northern region lands under the 1983 Aboriginal Land Rights Act. The Sydney Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council makes claims for parcels of vacant crown land. The 108 claims cover land around Oxford Falls, Belrose, Terrey Hills, Duffys Forest, Mona Vale Rd near St Ives Showground, Myoora Rd and Middle Creek near Narrabeen Lagoon.