Yarramundi and the people of Dyarubbin

Yarramundi and the Poeple of Dyarubbin is a radio feature commissioned by ABC Radio National’s History Listen Program, first broadcast in July 2021

Dyarubbin, the mighty Hawkesbury River, winds its way along the foot of the Blue Mountains, around the north western rim of Sydney’s Cumberland Plain. Settlement along the river, like much of Australia’s history, has largely been told from a colonial perspective. In this program, Darug woman Rhiannon Wright is our guide as we hear from Darug knowledge holders, artists, educators and writers Jasmine Seymour, Leanne Mulgo Watson and Erin Wilkins about their long and enduring relationship with this country, and the river they know as Dyarubbin.

We are joined by Grace Karskens, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of NSW, who tells of the early meetings with exploratory parties in 1789 and 1791 and what the records tell us about how the fast paced settlement that followed affected the Darug and Darkinjung people who lived along the river.

While researching and conducting interviews for 11 Stories From the River Dyarubbin I came to know these four incredible Darug women. This feature was an opportunity to share their stories and the fantastic work they are all doing in education, language and the arts.

The documentary features music I wrote for the 11 Stories From the River Dyarubbin project, with Darug songs by Jasmine Seymour and Stacy-Jane Etal which was developed with support from Create NSW

Musicians, Dimitri Vouros, clarinet and Jess Ciampa, percussion feature in the recording.


Special thanks to:

Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation,

State Library of NSW,

Windsor South Public School,

Brewongle Environmental Education Centre, and

Hawkesbury Regional Museum

Further Information:

Dyarubbin exhibition at the SLNSW (until March 2022)

Dyarubbin: Real Secret River is an online story map, locating and interpreting the Aboriginal place names along Dyarubbin recorded by Rev. McGarvie in 1829.

Cooee-Mittigar by Jasmine Seymour and Leanne Mulgo Watson (winner 2020 Prime Ministers Literary Award)

People of the River, by Grace Karskens (Allen and Unwin 2020)

Pondering the Abyss : a study of the language of settlement on the Hawkesbury Nepean Rivers by Barry Corr