MEET OUR TEAM
Leanne Mulgo Watson is a Darug woman and Chair of Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation. Leanne is an artist, educator and book illustrator. Leanne’s major projects include Cooee Mittigar: A Story on Darug Songlines, co-authored with Jasmine Seymour and published by Magabala Books, which won the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature.
Erin Wilkins is a Darug woman and an Aboriginal Cultural Educator, trainer and facilitator working in particular with children and young people. Erin is a Director of Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation.
Jasmine Seymour is a Darug woman, artist, writer and teacher, and a member of Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation. Jasmine holds a Masters in Language Education from the University of Sydney and she is now a PhD candidate at the University of Western Sydney. Jasmine’s books Baby Business and Cooee Mittigar: A Story on Darug Songlines (co-authored with Leanne Watson) were published by Magabala Books. Cooee Mittigar won the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature.
Rhiannon Wright is a proud Darug woman and a member of Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation. Rhiannon is the Aboriginal Education Officer at Windsor South Public School.
Cindy Laws is a Darug/Darkinjung woman, artist and children’s author. Cindy has written and illustrated two children’s books based on Dreaming narratives: Kootear the Echidna and Wargan the Crow. In 2007 Cindy was a finalist in the Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize in 2007.
Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation (DCAC) is a leading Darug organisation committed to protecting Darug sites, places and cultural traditions, and to promoting wide community awareness and understanding of Darug people, culture and Language.
Find out more at DCAC’s website and view a gallery of beautiful Darug artworks.
Grace Karskens is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of New South Wales Sydney. Grace writes about early colonial Australia and cross-cultural history. Her books include The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney and The Colony: A History of Early Sydney. Grace’s latest book People of the River: Lost Worlds of Early Australia explores Dyarubbin from deep time into the nineteenth century and won the 2021 Prime Ministers Award for Australian History, the NSW Premier’s Award for Australian History and is co-winner of the Ernest Scott Prize for Australian History.
Jim Wafer is a conjoint senior lecturer in anthropology at the University of Newcastle and has worked with Aboriginal languages since 1976. He is currently collaborating with Wonnarua people on language revitalisation, under the auspices of Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative. His publications include A Handbook of Aboriginal Languages of NSW and the ACT (with Amanda Lissarrague) and Recirculating Songs: Revitalising the Singing Practices of Indigenous Australia (with Myfany Turpin).
Paul Irish is an archaeologist and historian who has worked with Aboriginal heritage and history over the past 20 years. Paul’s book Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney won the 2018 NSW Premier’s History Award for Community and Regional History. He has been collaboratively researching Sydney’s Aboriginal history for many years with members of the La Perouse Aboriginal community. Paul is the director of Coast History and Heritage.
Gil Jones is a geologist, writer and bushwalker. Gil researched the geological history of the Sydney Basin during his years at Macquarie University. Since moving to live in the Macdonald Valley 35 years ago, he has taken a keen interest in local Darkinjung rock engravings and cave paintings, publishing books and booklets which explore their significance and reviewing the early decades of contact in the Bulga Ranges. Gil’s books include Wasteland Wilderness Wonderland: Getting to know Sydney’s sandstone country, Bulga Bala Boree, and Powers of Nature. His latest book The Bulga will be published in 2022.
Joy Lai is a photographer whose immersive works embrace Indigenous perspectives of Country and custodianship. Joy has worked in Sydney's leading cultural institutions for more than a decade and her images regularly appear in print, exhibitions and on the facades of prominent public buildings. Based on Gadigal land in Sydney, she creates work from her own explorations and also welcomes commissioned assignments.
Visit Joy’s website Joy M. Lai Photo
We warmly acknowledge and thank Wiradjuri man Col Lyons and Dunghutti woman Lully Cochrane; Peter and Carolyn Auld, Jan Barkley-Jack, Elissa Blair, Martin Boetz, Paul Boon, Linda Brainwood, René Breuls, Barry Corr, Madeline Crowl, Chris Cunningham, Marika Duczynski, Michael Kemp, Amber Ma, Melissa Medo, Richard Neville, Michelle Nichols, Jeremy Steele, Rebecca Turnbull, John Vallance, Michael Walsh, Richard Waterhouse, Aunty Edna Watson, Damien Webb, Avryl Whitnall and Louise Wilson
And also Susan Fietz, Amy Love, Lisa Powell, Simone Reedy, Tara Slattery and Gizette Waldron at DCS Spatial Services and the Geographic Names Board of New South Wales; State Library of New South Wales; State Archives and Records of New South Wales; Hawkesbury Regional Museum and Gallery; Hawkesbury Historical Society and Nepean District Historical Society.
Special thanks to Rob Thomas AO whose vision and funding support via the Coral Thomas Fellowship and the Dictionary of Sydney made this project possible.