Live and streamed

What The Colonists Never Knew: A History Of Aboriginal Sydney

Dennis Foley and Peter Read moderated by Margo Neale

Wednesday 12 August 2020
4.30PM – 5.30PM

Peter Read and Dennis Foley explore the history of Aboriginal Sydney and paint a vivid picture of what it was like to grow up Aboriginal in Sydney, alongside the colonists, from 1788 to the present and give an honest account of the disappointment, pain and terror experienced by Sydney’s First Peoples and a celebration of the survival of their spirit.

Presented by the National Museum of Australia @ NMA


Dennis Foley

Dennis Foley is an Indigenous Australian scholar at the University of Canberra. He is well-known in the growing discipline of Indigenous entrepreneurship. His writings focus on social inclusion and Indigenous literature, history and epistemology. Dennis is a Fulbright Scholar, a dual Endeavour Fellow and a published poet. He is linked matrilineally with the Gai-Mariagal people of north-eastern Sydney and patrilineally with the Wiradjuri of the Turon River region in western NSW. He is active in the Indigenous community and Indigenous business associations and is on several state and federal advisory committees.


Peter Read

Peter Read AM is a distinguished historian who has worked at ANU and the University of Sydney. For most of his career, his research has focused on Aboriginal history, with occasional forays into place studies and Latin American studies. What the Colonists Never Knew is the culmination of research into Aboriginal Sydney that began with a grant from the Australian Research Council in 2009. Peter is co-founder and director of Link-Up (NSW) Aboriginal Corporation.


Margo Neale

Margo Neale is a Senior Research Fellow, Senior Curator and Principal Indigenous Adviser to the Director at the National Museum of Australia. Margo is also an Adjunct Professor in the history program at ANU’s Centre for Indigenous History.