Creation of this website was through a project of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project, with support from SOAS University of London, the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Council ... see Acknowledgements.

Links & references

Linguistic and language learning

ABC feature page with links to video of Dharug teacher Richard Green and students learning the language at Chifley College, Dunheved Campus, where Dharuk is taught by Richard Green. See also the main college website.

NSW Board of Studies: Aboriginal languages. Includes information about K-12 syllabus and practical advice.

The Sydney Language, by Jakelin Troy. 1993. Canberra: Published by Troy with the assistance of the Australian Dictionaries Project and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

The Sydney Language notebooks and responses to language contact in early colonial NSW, by Jaky Troy. Originally printed in Australian Journal of Linguistics, 1992, 12, 145-170 (modified version)

The Aboriginal Language of Sydney: a partial reconstruction of the indigenous language of Sydney based on the notebooks of William Dawes of 1790-91, informed by other records of the Sydney and surrounding languages to c.1905, by Jeremy Steele. 2005. MA Thesis (Macquarie University)

A range of resources for the Sydney Language from linguist Jeremy Steele.

A handbook of Aboriginal languages of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Jim Wafer and Amanda Lissarague (editors), 2008. Nambucca Heads, NSW. Book can be purchased from Muurrbay Aboriginal Language & Culture Co-operative.


An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1 by David Collins. Account mentions many of the events involving Dawes in Sydney. [Project Gutenberg]

A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, by Watkin Tench. Detailed and readable account of events in Sydney and expeditions involving Dawes, as well as about the language.

Dawes, William (1762-1836), by Phyllis Mander-Jones. Australian Dictionary of Biography

Pemulwuy. Wikipedia article on the man who led Aboriginal resistance against the colonisation of Sydney.

The first fleet and early settlement documents. University of Sydney and NSW State Library. Includes items by Phillip and Tench mentioning William Dawes.

William Dawes, and Australia's first observatory, by Philip S Laurie. (Originally the Journal R.A.S. QUARTERLY JOURNAL V.29, NO. 4/DEC, P.469, 1988). Describes the background to Dawes' commission as a meteorologist and lists his books and equipment.

William Dawes: Australia's First Meteorologist, by R.J. McAffee. 1978 essay about William Dawes and his meteorological work, includes sketches of Dawes and his 'observatory'

Press articles

A few words from William Dawes and George Bass. by Keith Vincent Smith. Detail on the history of the Dawes notebooks and of Dawes' role in documenting the language. In National Library of Australia News.Volume XVIII, Number 9, June 2008.

Darug people's new dreaming - the return of the land they called home, by Daniel Lewis. Sydney Morning Herald article featuring Jacinta Tobin and with information about the contemporary Darug community

Event-Grammar: The Language Notebooks of William Dawes, by Ross Gibson, in Meanjin. A literary essay on Dawes, Patyegarang, and the context in which the notebooks were written.

Lost Aboriginal Language Revived, by Phil Mercer. BBC news story on revitalisation of Dharug at Chifley College Dunheved campus in Sydney. Includes a short glossary of useful words.

On fact and fiction, by Keith Vincent Smith. In The Australian newspaper.

Sydney School Leads Efforts to Revive Lost Aboriginal Language, Voice of America. Article on Darug classes taught by Richard Green at Chifley College Dunheved campus.

Web revives Indigenous language. SBS World News report on the launch of this website: “Sydney's Aboriginal Darug community are celebrating the launch of a website which has brought the language of their ancestors alive again.” [28 October 2009]

Organisations & departments

Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation. Darug community organisation.

Languages team, DAA NSW. Contact and information about legislation for Aboriginal languages in NSW.

Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. Aboriginal cultural protection activities across the Sydney area.

Warawara - the Department of Indigenous Studies, Macquarie University. Teaches Indigenous studies and provides access for Indigenous students..

Book version of this website

William Dawes' Notebooks on the Aboriginal Language of Sydney, David Nathan, Susannah Rayner and Stuart Brown (editors). 2009. London & Sydney: SOAS & Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation