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Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney by Paul Irish

book cover image of hidden in plain view

Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney by Paul Irish (NewSouth Publishing) 

Judges' Comments 

This is a remarkable history of Aboriginal coastal peoples from Sydney Harbour to Port Hacking and inland along the Georges River. While Aboriginal people all but disappeared from official colonial narratives during the nineteenth century, they survived those difficult first decades and remained living on the coast on their own terms. Irish demonstrates a continuity that is too often presumed to have been disrupted. 

Irish also provides evidence of sustained interactions between the newcomers and Indigenous people that, while sometimes violent and disrespectful, could also be mutually rewarding. The book is enhanced with paintings and photographs of Aboriginal people and their urban and rural environments, while the book’s informative maps provide a visual guide to the mobility of Sydney’s Aboriginal people. It is ‘a history grounded in places and objects and still carried in living memory’.