Bennelong i(2 works by) (a.k.a. Wolarwaree; Ogultroyee; Vogeltroy; Bannelong; Vogle-troo Ye,; Vol-lar-ra-very; Bannalong)
Born: Established: 1764 ; Died: Ceased: 3 Jan 1813 Ryde, Ryde - Gladesville - Hunters Hill area, Northwest Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal Wangal ; Aboriginal
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BiographyHistory

'Bennelong was one of the first Aboriginal people to live with the settlers and to be 'civilised' into the European way of life and to enjoy its 'benefits'. Bennelong (married at the time to Barangaroo) was captured with Colbee (married to Daringa) in November 1789 as part of Governor Arthur Phillip's plan to learn the language and customs of the local people. Like Arabanoo, Bennelong soon adopted European dress and ways, and learned English. Bennelong is also known to have taught George Bass the language of the Sydney Aborigines, and gave Phillip the Aboriginal name Wolawaree to locate him in a kinship relationship. This was necessary in order to enable communication of customs and relationship to the land.

Bennelong served the colonisers by teaching them about Aboriginal customs and language in an attempt to aid relations between the two groups. In May 1790 Bennelong was present at Manly when Phillip was speared and persuaded the Governor that the attack was caused by a misunderstanding. Later that year, he asked the Governor to build him a hut on what became known as Bennelong Point, the site of the Sydney Opera House. Here he entertained the Governor a year later.

Although he was said to have had a love-hate relationship with both the settlement and Governor Phillip, Bennelong and another Aborigine named Yemmerrawanne travelled with the Governor to England in 1792, and were presented to King George III on May 24 1793. Yemmerrawanne died in Britain, but Bennelong returned to Sydney in February 1795, after what must have been an enormously challenging confrontation with an alien culture. He exhibited a new sense of dress and behaviour, and tried to influence his family to imitate these things. Bennelong was long troubled by the consumption of alcohol. He frequented Sydney less often and eventually died at Kissing Point (now known as Ryde).' Source: www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani (Sighted 10/05/2007).

Last amended 2 Nov 2016 16:46:20
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