Aboriginal history of koalas

Garilwa -The word ‘koala’ is thought to have come from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘no drink’ because koalas obtain most of the moisture they need from gum leaves.

Koalas, like all Australian native animals, are an important part of Aboriginal culture and feature in many of their myths and legends and are recognised as a totem species. There are many varied and rich legends about koalas and the symbolisms attached to them and many of these are maintained through traditional Aboriginal dreamtime stories.

D’harawal Dreaming Stories by Aunty Frances Bodkin tells stories of the D’harawal People and Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, of which she is the traditional knowledge holder. These ancient dreaming stories feature ‘Kuwala’ora the Koala People’ and can be purchased at the Campbelltown Visitor Information Centre or viewed at www.dharwalstories.com

Artwork of Koalas in Gumtree by Melanie Hava