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21 Jun 2020

Patyegarang

Most statues and monuments, particularly those dating from the early years of British settlement in Australia were decided upon by white male colonialists.

Official historical records and monuments have largely ignored the role of First Nations people and of women.

We can address the imbalance with new statues and monuments.

With the advice of Nathan Moran and the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, I will be proposing that City of Sydney commission a public art work or statue commemorating a historically significant Gadigal woman.

They have suggested 15-year-old Gadigal woman, Patyegarang, who was Australia's first teacher of Gadigal language.

She taught her language to First Fleet naval officer Lieutenant William Dawes and ensured its survival.

Dawes recorded their conversations and his notebooks are the only known first-hand accounts of the Gadigal language.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported on the proposal here.