Rivers and Resilience: Aboriginal People On Sydney’s Georges River
University of New South Wales Press, $39.95 pb, 344 pp
This is a celebration of Aboriginal survival on the Georges River, a river which snakes through the south-western suburbs of Sydney and disgorges into Botany Bay.
Co-author Heather Goodall, a professor of history at University of Technology, Sydney, reveals that she grew up on the river unaware that she was surrounded by an Aboriginal community. This changed when, in the 1970s, she was confronted by an Aborigine named Jacko Campbell who had lived in the district all his life. He told her that they had both attended the same school; he was a student there thirty years previously. Campbell, writes Goodall, ‘wanted to know why I hadn’t heard about these extraordinary people living just a few miles away from my house’. It was a challenge. Her own participation in this book is her response.