Thursday, September 18, 2008

Learning About The Cammeraygal

Yesterday, my education was about the Indigenous group that lived in North Sydney.

The Cammeraygal.

Some websites mention them being part of the Eora and some don't.   I'm very confused about this!!    If anyone knows more about it and would like to explain, PLEASE do so.

I do know that Bennelong was part of the Eora. I'll talk about him on another day. He has an interesting history.

Anyway, back to the Cammeraygal (who may or may not have had connections to the Eora).

The Cammeraygal ate seafood, but I'm guessing it was usually not in the exploitive way we eat seafood today.   I'm pretty sure they didn't have any all-you-can-eat shrimp & lobster buffets.

It seems most of the Cammeraygal disappeared after the arrival of the big ships in 1788.

The suburb Cammeray is named after them.

The places the Cammeraygal hung out way back when is now called Balls Head, Berry Island, Kirribilli, Cammeray and Cremorne.  Gayden Track on Berry island has a Bushwalk where you can learn about stuff.     I guess it has signs that you can read.

The Cammeraygal name for Balls Head is Yerroulbine. There are lots of nice archeological sites-- rock carvings and all that.   In fact, a new one was found this July.   Well, the drawing isn't new. It's quite old actually. But it's new in terms of it just being found recently. How cool is that?

The name Kirribili comes from Aboriginal word Kiarabilli. That means good fishing spot.

Okay. I have no idea how to pronounce half this stuff I'm writing.

The Prime Minister lives in Kirribili.   Why not in Canberra?   You know, that's a pretty long commute. Milson's point is near Kirribili. How close? Walking distance to Luna Park?  I wonder if Kevin Rudd hangs out there when he's not busy doing the Prime Minister thing?

Anyway, if fate has us return to Luna Park, while I'm riding the rides and fearing for my life, I will think about and remember the Cammeraygal people. I will remember that when they were around there was no scary clown face to walk through.


Ariane said...

The EX Prime Minister lived in Kirribili. Because he was so arrogant he didn't feel the need to live in our capital. The Kirribili residence is used when the illustrious leader needs to be in Sydney. Normally they live in The Lodge in Canberra. That's where Big Kev is living.

My understanding is that the Eora people occupied most of the Sydney area, but honestly, you probably know more about it than I do. It is Eora land that I live in.

Bettina said...

Kiribilli is the prime ministers Sydney residence. When in Canberra his residence is 'The Lodge'.

Paul Cunningham said...

Kirribilli is the Prime Minister's Sydney residence. When in Canberra the PM lives at "The Lodge" Kevin Rudd's family home is in Norman Park (Brisbane)and he was a career diplomat. I think he also studied at ANU in Canberra so he's quite happy to live there most of the time. Unlike the former PM who had a lovely familiy home at Wollstonecraft on Sydney's northside. He really didn't like Canberra and spent whatever time he could living in Kirribilli. Its rumoured he let his own home become so run down that the neighbours complained to the local council about the mosquitoes breeding in the stagnant swimming pool.

Dina said...


I can't know more than you do. I'm so confused!!!!

"The Lodge" sounds fun. Was Howard the first and only to live in Kirribili?

Bettina: Thanks for clearing that up!!

Paul Cunningham: That's sad that Howard wouldn't stay in Canberra. If there's a residence in Sydney for the PM, is there also one in other cities? Or does the PM spend more time in Sydney than other cities? What about Melbourne?

MsJamie said...

Thanks for sharing all this. It's so interesting!

Dina said...


I love all of it!!

Thanks for reading : )

There shall be more to come......

I think?

MsMerising said...

"Disappeared" - covert language meaning murdered or death by European-born diseases.

If you would like to learn more about these people read Richard Broome's "Aboriginal Australia" chpater 2 on the Gamaraigal people (another name for the Cammeraygal). It goes in depth on Australia's racist past and present. You can also get an idea by going to the SBS website and watching the first installation of the "First Australians" documentary.

As a Caucasian-Ethnic woman born and raised in Australia my views on the country are not as romanticized. The racism I encountered in Oz was so traumatic I moved to the USA which I find much more bearable than the insularity of Australia. It astounds me that when you watch TV or movies from Australia you are still only fed the Anglo-centric view of the nation. The "Australian silence" extends to everyone of non-western European descent to this day.

Dina said...


I saw The First Australians--learned a lot from it.

I think America is very racist too. I don't know if one country is worse than the other in terms of racism and intolerance.

I think Australia's racist history might be more overt than America's. But I also think they're remorse and apologies are more overt.

I do agree that American television is less white than Australian television. But then it seems to me the majority of programming in Australia comes from America anyway.

How long have you been in the states? I AM glad you're having a better experience here. But each individual has a different experience.

There can be Americans who left because they felt America was too racist and they feel more welcomed in Australia.