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Douglas Grant, nurses and ex-servicemen gather around the war memorial built by Grant at Callan Park, which featured an ornamental pond and a replica of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1931 (Photograph courtesy State Library of NSW, Digital Order number a368022)

Douglas Grant

Author: Nicole Cama Douglas Grant was a natural born leader, fiercely intelligent artist and poetry enthusiast who served as a Private in the 13th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force before he was captured as a Prisoner of War in Read More

Participants in the City of Sydney’s oral history project to honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who served their country, with Lord Mayor Clover Moore (Image courtesy Barbara McGrady / City of Sydney)

Military service and Aboriginal voices

Author: Catherine Freyne The City of Sydney’s history team started recording oral histories with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service people in 2008. The project gained new impetus in 2013 with the commissioning of YININMADYEMI Thou Didst Let Fall the memorial artwork Read More

Ex-soldier and Aboriginal activist Herbert Groves wearing his World War 2 uniform as protest on the Australian Aborigines League float in the 1947 May Day procession (Photograph courtesy Australian War Memorial, P01248.001)

Bert Groves

Author: Laila Ellmoos Bert Groves was an active and vocal Sydney-based Aboriginal activist in the 1950s and 60s, who improved the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia. Although politically active as a young man, it was his experience Read More


Jack Patten

John (Jack) Patten was a public speaker and William Ferguson’s collaborator in the early days of the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA). He was born in Cummeragunja on the Murray River; unlike many Aboriginal people at the time, he attended high Read More

Harry Williams and Chicka Dixon

Charles ‘Chicka’ Dixon

Charles ‘Chicka’ Dixon was born at Wallaga Lake and worked as a stevedore on Sydney’s wharves. He worked in the Seamen’s Union as a shop steward before following the political footsteps of those who inspired him. Chicka Dixon heard Jack Read More

Gary Williams and Charles Perkins at Sydney University

Charles Perkins

Born on the Todd River in Alice Springs, Charles Perkins moved to Adelaide in 1945. Spotted by a soccer talent scout, he played for Everton in England and returned after one year and became one of South Australia’s best players. Read More

People Ricketty Dick_a824002_HERO

Ricketty Dick

Author: Laila Ellmoos Ricketty Dick (c1795-1863) was an Aboriginal man who lived in Sydney in the early to mid-19th century. He was also known as Warrah Warrah or William (Bill) Warrah, Worrell or Worrall. Ricketty Dick was a familiar and Read More

People Pemulwuy_nla34396_HERO


Pemulwuy was a courageous resistance fighter who led a guerrilla war against the British settlement at Sydney Cove from 1788 through to 1802. Because of his resistance to the invaders, he became one of the most remembered and written about Read More

People Cora Gooseberry a824006h_HERO

Cora Gooseberry

Cora Gooseberry was wife to King Bungaree and was an identity in Sydney for 20 years after his death. She was known as ‘Queen of Sydney and Botany’ and ‘Queen of Sydney to South Head’ and was often seen wrapped Read More

A portrait of Bennelong


Bennelong (who also went by the names Wolarwaree, Ogultroyee and Vogeltroya) was from the Wangal people and is regarded as one of the most significant and notable Aboriginal people in the early history of Australia. He became one of the Read More

People Bungaree_a1114017h_HERO


Known for being able to straddle both black and white societies, King Bungaree was from the Garigal clan at Broken Bay and moved to the Sydney area. He was a diplomat, mediating between his own people and the government, and was an Read More

People Colebee_012030_H_HERO


Colebee (also known as Coleby) was a warrior of the Gadigal clan at Port Jackson when the British First Fleet arrived in 1788. The customs and lifestyle of the local Aboriginal people were broken down very early as the colonisers began Read More



Arabanoo (c1760-89) was the first of Governor Arthur Phillip’s protégés. Phillip’s plan was to learn the language and customs of the local people. He believed that if some of them could be trained in English, they could be used to Read More