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Port Jackson

Encounters. Indigenous contact and culture: a classroom resource

Caution: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Sydney Aboriginal country

Port Jackson, New South Wales

Gai-mariagal people have always fished and hunted in the country now known as Port Jackson. Explore how Gai-mariagal and other Sydney Aboriginal peoples retain connections to country amidst the presence of the city of Sydney.

  • A map of Australia indicating the location of Port Jackson, New South Wales.
    Port Jackson, New South Wales
  • Port Jackson, New South Wales
    Setting the scene
  • A twisted coil of bark fibre fishing line.
    Garradjun (fishing line)
  • An old sketch of men fishing from a rock platform
    Gai-mariagal men fishing
  • A photo of a fishing rod
    Fishing rod


Match the ideas

What do you know about Port Jackson?

Video story

Learn about fishing in Sydney Harbour

Watch this video where Gai-mariagal Elder Dennis Foley talks about the importance of his traditional land.

Activity: In pairs, discuss what Dennis means when he describes Car-rang-gel (North Head) as a cathedral, parliament house and university.

More activities

Garradgun (fishing line) and fishing rod

Activity: Gai-mariagal people continue to fish in their country today. What methods and equipment used today differ from those used 250 years ago?

Activity: Examine the fishing line pictured above. What is it made from? How do you think it was used? Research and make your own rope from natural materials. You can start your research on the ABC Rural website.

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