First Peoples

St. John’s Online acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the original custodians of the lands now known collectively as “Australia.”

Specifically, the Project acknowledges those who discovered the First Fleeters on their lands in 1788, including the Burramattagal clan of the Dharug People, the original custodians of nura (country) on which the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta) is located.

The Project also acknowledges that the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta) is most likely the final resting place of the son of Woollarawarre Bennelong and husband of Bolongaia (Maria Lock): Dicky Bennelong (a.k.a. Thomas Walker Coke).

Finally, we pay respect to elders past, present, and future.

To acknowledge this original custodianship whilst also being inclusive and respectful to the newcomers, a dual-naming policy has been adopted throughout St. John’s Online as a Reconciliation initiative. As a mark of respect and to audiate, that is “mentally sound” language, Aboriginal endonyms have not only been included when using placenames in this project wherever possible, they have also been given precedence over European imposed exonyms, which have been subordinated by appearing after the Aboriginal endonyms and in closed brackets: for example, Warrane (Sydney Cove), Cadi (Sydney), Kamay (Botany Bay). Where specific placenames are unknown, the Country is identified with the greatest specificity possible: e.g. Cadigal Country, Toogagal Country, Wallumettagal Country, etc. For the same reasons, the specific endonym for each Aboriginal clan or larger group is preferred and used when known, otherwise when speaking generally of more than one group or an unidentified group, the terms Aboriginal People or First Peoples are used, with the word ‘People’ capitalised as a mark of respect. For a lengthier discussion of this policy, read Name-Calling: A Dual Naming Policy.

Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are advised that this project contains names and artistic depictions of deceased First Peoples. Individual essays that do contain such content will have a notice clearly displayed at the top of the essay.

All users of the website should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author’s/creator’s attitude or that of the period in which they were written. Those sources are presented as part of the record of the past; contemporary users should interpret the work within that context.

The project also contains the following essays on First Peoples who, while not buried in the parish of St. John’s themselves, were connected to people who are buried in the parish of St. John’s.

No Pity for the Hunted is a murder tale about ‘Little Jemmy’ and ‘Little George,’ two Aboriginal boys who were murdered by settlers at ‘Green Hills’, Bulyayorang (Windsor), Dharug and Darkinjung Country, in 1799. Their story overlaps with that of the Tarlington family, who are buried at the cemetery.

A. M. Fernando: Return to the Old Bailey is an epilogue to John Martin: The Self-Freed Slave. It follows the life of Fernando, a man who may have been his descendant.

Daniel Mow-watty: The Boy Who Strayed from the Bush Path briefly reflects on the life of Mow-watty, an adopted family member of Richard Partridge: The Left-Handed Flogger and his fellow convict wife Mary Greenwood.

Other essays discussing frontier violence generally include:

Rogues, Rapists, Cheats, Thieves and Murderers: The Batmans

Mary Rowe: At What Price Theft?

Thomas Daveney: The Tyrant of Toongabbie

Click here to view St. John’s Online’s full First Peoples dataset.