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Bungaree, Burigon and Aboriginal Newcastle

7 July 2020

Bungaree, Burigon and Aboriginal Newcastle

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During the years of the convict penal station at Newcastle (1804–23) Aboriginal people continued to live in and around the outpost, coming and going at will. Their presence was used by the colonial authorities as one form of unofficial control over the convicts, with guides and trackers in constant use to catch bolting convicts. They were also considered, on some levels, to be friends and comrades by the various commandants who ruled over the settlement. This talk takes a closer look at some of the more familiar Aboriginal residents and visitors to Newcastle, including Bungaree and Burigon. It will examine their close connection to the area and relationships with those who lived there. 

Dr Mark Dunn was the 2016 CH Currey Fellow at the Library and a Visiting Scholar in 2018. His first book, The Convict Valley: The Bloody Struggle on Australia’s Early Frontier will be published by Allen & Unwin in June 2020.