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Year 11 ATAR English: The Secret River



The resources below will help you gain an understanding of Aboriginal people and culture in Sydney and New South Wales. It looks at Aboriginal experiences from the time of colonisation. The ClickView video at the bottom is from the groundbreaking First Australians TV series; in this episode the arrival of the First Fleet is explored.

From the Barangi website:

"Aboriginal people have always lived in this place we call Sydney. The original inhabitants of the Sydney city region are the Gadigal people. Despite the destructive impact of first contact, Gadigal culture survived. As the town of Sydney developed into a city, the Gadigal were joined by other Aboriginal people from elsewhere in NSW, to live, work and forge relationships within the urban Aboriginal community."

About Barani website - Barani. (2013). Retrieved from


The resources below focus on the people, places and events of the penal colony of Botany Bay and early New South Wales. 

From the Sydney Living Museums website:

"At the end of the 18th century, a tiny British penal colony was established on the east coast of a vast southern continent. In their minds this was uncharted land, but the colony they helped to establish displaced the many Aboriginal groups who called it home. For the new arrivals, this was to be a self-sufficient farming settlement utilising the labour of criminals, or convicts, banished from England and Ireland."

Crockett, G. The Convicts’ Colony. Retrieved from