Aboriginal people have watched the ancient landscape of Sydney and Paddington evolve over thousands of years and generations. The rich archaeological and historical record of the harbour allows us to recreate something of how Aboriginal people used Kogerah – as they called Rushcutters Bay – and its Paddington hinterland in the centuries before Europeans arrived. As a resilient and innovative community they continued to adapt their lives, co-existing around Rushcutters Bay until the turn of the twentieth century.
Paul Irish will open your eyes to the Rushcutters Bay Aboriginal settlement and the impact of colonisation on Australia’s First Nation peoples in Paddington.
Paul Irish is a historian and archaeologist with Coast History & Heritage, and has a long-standing interest in the Aboriginal history of Sydney. He was recently published the book Hidden in Plain View: the Aboriginal people of coastal Sydney and regularly holds public talks. As the recipient of the 2015 NSW History Fellowship he prepared the touring exhibition This Is Where They Travelled: Historical Aboriginal Lives in Sydney in collaboration with researchers from the La Perouse Aboriginal community.
This free lunchtime talk is part of a series of talks presented by the City of Sydney’s history and curatorial team for the National Trust Heritage Festival. The event will take place in the meeting room on Level 2, Customs House Library.
The book Paddington: A History will be available for purchase from the Paddington Society. Paul Irish contributed a chapter on ‘Aboriginal Paddington’.
Image credit: Aboriginal people fishing in Woolloomooloo Bay near Paddington. Charles Rodius, 1833. (State Library of NSW, PXA 997)