First People of the Brunswick
Click below for the links
This abbreviated story on our local Indigenes is summarised from documented whitefella history. No Brunswick/Durungbil descendants could be traced to help flesh-out the pre-Britannian society or to give an Aboriginal perspective on the process and aftermath of colonisation. Nor is BVHS privy to anthropological or archaeological reports commissioned by Byron Shire’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Study.
Our own library and archive resources, supplemented by various reliable websites and newspapers via Trove, were the main sources of information. So far only limited research has been carried out in the NSW State Records Office and State Library. It is a work in progress and will be updated as required. (Last updated 18Mar2020).
Some of the quotes from the documents and newspapers of yesteryear express attitudes and beliefs held by Caucasian Australians towards Aboriginal Australians that may cause distress. But in the interests of historical veracity we have decided to leave such quotes unedited and without qualification or comment.
And Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are forewarned that this account of the Brunswick’s Indigenous background contains images and names of people who have died.
The draft was researched and written by non-indigenous BVHS volunteers who have no specialist qualifications in Aboriginal history or culture. It was passed to the ‘Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council’ and the ‘Bundjalung of Byron Bay Aboriginal Corporation (Arakwal)’ for their advice on any corrections, deletions or amplifications deemed necessary to reconcile possible differences in historical perspectives and to ensure there were no unwitting transgressions into culturally sensitive areas.
TBLALC did not respond, while the Arakwal Board of Directors considered that it would be more appropriate for the Arakwal People themselves to present their own history, and to this end BVHS considerably reduced Arakwal references in the re-draft. But the Brunswick and Byron clans were too closely intertwined to entirely exclude the Arakwal from the story.
The Arakwal Corporation also pointed out that it has developed a Cultural Programs Strategy to arrest social disintegration and foster development of Aboriginal identity and culture, ensuring that all programs and actions are in accordance with our cultural values, customs and practices.
The Corporation has reservations that the BVHS document helps achieve this aim and has requested that this introduction include the following non-specific disclaimer:
The Bundjalung of Byron Bay Arakwal people do not endorse the information provided in the document tilted ‘First People of the Brunswick’ as an accurate account of Arakwal or Bundjalung history from the early times of contact with Europeans on our lands.
People wishing to learn about the First People of this area, their history, their culture and their ongoing connection to Country are invited to explore our website: http://arakwal.com.au/
BVHS acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional owners of this land and pay our respects to their history, their living culture and to Elders past and present
A History Walk Around Mullumbimby
Please click on the link below for
The Gateway to Mullumbimby
Early Reminiscences.pdf Recollections of John Macgregor, published in three parts in the Mullumbimby Star 17Sep1925-1Oct1925
Johnson Family.pdf Reminiscences of Mr J.T. Johnson, Mullumbimby Star July 18th 1929 plus a Biography compiled by Peter Tsicalas.
Pioneering the Brunswick.pdf Tweed Daily, Saturday, March 19 1932. Updated 6 Dec 2016.
Pioneering Days on The Brunswick.pdf (from the Mullumbimby Star, 2Jul1933)
Birth of the Brunswick.pdf compiled by Peter Tsicalas
The Beautiful Brunswick.pdf Alton Richmond MacLeod, Mullumbimby Star Nov 6, 1924 Updated 31 Jan 2017
The Meaning in Mullumbimby.pdf Recent research by Peter Tsicalas. Updated 31 Dec 2017
***Click on each article to download***
A list of ships wrecked on the Byron/Brunswick coast from July 3rd 1840 to 14th May 1921 when the Steamer Wollongbar was driven off the Byron Bay Jetty in heavy seas.
Known Burials Pre 1900 List
The Brunswick Valley Historical Society is seeking information re any burials not listed that occurred in the Brunswick Valley prior to 1900.