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Beerabahn or MacGill, Chief of Bartabah or Lake Macquariec 1830

by H B W Allan


Biraban was a prominent Awabakal man, best known for his friendship with Reverend Lancelot Threlkeld and his collaboration with him on language. As a boy he had worked as a servant for John McGill in Sydney, and therefore was often known as McGill. Biraban was presented with a brass king plate by Governor Darling as a badge of distinction in recognition of his assistance in "reducing his Native Tongue to a written Language" (Sydney Gazette, 12 January 1830, p. 2).