Walker Learning Centre’s ‘Acknowledgement of Country’

Our class has been researching our local area Aboriginal history so that we could create our very own unique ‘Acknowledgement of Country.’  This is what we have learned: 

Map of Aboriginal Nations – Artwork by N.A.

The Eora Nation

  • Each Nation has a number of Clans (families, groups, language groups)
  • The Eora Nation is located in the Sydney Basin.
  • It is surrounded by the Tharawal Nation to the South (Wollongong)
  • The Darug Nation to the West (Blacktown, Penrith)
  • The Darkinjung Nation to the North
  • The Gandangara Nation (South West)
  • The Wiradjuri Nation (Greater West)

The Wangal Clan

  • The Wangal Clan were an Aboriginal Group located in what is now known as Concord and surrounds.
  • Hen and Chicken Bay was an important meeting place for the Wangal Clan. The Clans peoples lives were strongly focused around the harbour and foreshore.
  • Bennelong was an Elder of the Wangal Clan.
  • The Wangal Clan were the first to encounter the British Settlers.

Bennelong Point before the Opera House – Artwork by N.A.

Bennelong

  • Woollarawarre Bennelong (around 1764 – 1813) was an Elder of the Eora Nation’s Wangal Clan. In 1789 he was captured, then befriended by Arthur Phillip and became a liaison between the Eora Nation’s Clans and the British Settlers – the first Aboriginal Clan to encounter the British settlers.
  • He travelled to England for 3 years with Governor Arthur Phillip and was presented to King George the 3rd. When Bennelong returned, he didn’t fit in with the British or with his Clan. He was injured in a battle and died at Kissing Point on 3rd January 1813.
  • In 2011, Bennelong’s burial place at Putney was identified by environmental scientist Peter Mitchell, and the Government has purchased the site for $3 million at 25 Watson Street, Putney. Bennelong was buried under an orchard belonging to brewer friend, James Squire.

Opera House on Bennelong Point – Artwork by N.A.

Other Eora Clans

  • The Gadigal (Cadigal) Clan was another Clan of the Eora Nation. In 1788 there was between 50 to 80 people in the Clan. By 1789, European diseases, such as smallpox, had wiped out the majority of the Clan, and only 3 people remained. It is thought that maybe the disease had been released by the British on purpose.
  • Arthur Phillip built a brick hut for Bennelong on Bennelong Point, (known to the local Gadigal people of the Eora nation as Dubbagullee). The Sydney Opera House now sits on this site.
  • Today, Australian Indigenous people make up 2.4 per cent of the total Australian population (about 460,000 out of 22 million people).

Walker Learning Centre unique ‘Acknowledgement of Country’

I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Wangal people who were one of the first Aboriginal people to encounter British settlers. The Wangal Clan lived in this place we now call Concord, and where Hen and Chicken Bay was an important Wangal Clan meeting place. The Wangal Clan is one of 29 clans of the Eora Nation. I would like to pay my respects to the Elders, both past, such as Bennelong, and present Elders and Aboriginal people of this land where we meet today.

Torres Strait Islander Flag – Artwork by N.A.