Aboriginal history of Campbelltown

Campbelltown 2020 Yarning Circle at Koshigaya Park
Everyone is welcome at the Campbelltown 2020 Yarning Circle at Koshigaya Park

The area known as Campbelltown City is located on the custodial lands of the Dharawal people and there are many reminders of their traditional and ongoing connection to the land.

Scattered throughout the area are many sites of cultural significance. One of these is what is known as a 'first contact' site - where local Dharawal people had drawn charcoal sketches of bulls that had escaped from Sydney Cove and made their way to what was known as "the Cowpastures" - an area near Campbelltown.

As colonists moved from Sydney Cove into this area interaction between the settlers and the Dharawal people was sometimes peaceful but not always. Resulting from disputes between settlers and Aboriginal people from another clan group an intervention from colonial military saw many of the local Dharawal people perish in what is known as the Appin Massacre.

Today Campbelltown City has one of the largest urban populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in New South Wales.

An insight into the first peoples of our region

Campbelltown's Aboriginal History Brochure Cover

Campbelltown's Aboriginal History Booklet(PDF, 1MB)

  • An Aboriginal History of Campbelltown
  • Initial contact with the Europeans
  • The Appin massacre
  • The Aboriginal community today.

This booklet was produced in consultation with the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Campbelltown Aboriginal Community Reference Group.