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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Letterbox-Gate
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Balmain is traditionally an industrial Sydney suburb. Before Cook, Gadigal and Wangal people lived on the bush landscape now known as Peacock Point. My great-grandfather Daniel Syron moved to Balmain in the 1920s after the First World War to find work on the wharves. He is a Birripi man from Cape Hawke on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. I have no memory of ever meeting him. I have seen photos of him stuck in an old photo album held together by broken silver corners. He was a tall man, black and handsome. All the Syron men are. He was a light horseman and a returned soldier.  Although Aboriginal people weren’t allowed to enlist in the Australian army at the time, he must have slipped through. Daniel met his wife, Elizabeth Murray, an English migrant from Manchester, on his return from service. Elizabeth was a tough cookie having survived working down coalmines as a child. She thought Dan was your typical bronzed Aussie. Together they had eight children. Their firstborn is my grandmother, Catherine Mary Syron. Cathy’s eldest son, Frederick George, is my father. He was also born in Balmain, as was I and my two younger sisters. My mother came from the now well-to-do eastern suburb of Waverly and her family heritage includes the First Fleet Irish convict Henry Kable. However I didn’t know all this about my Aboriginal history when I was growing up.’  (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia Anita Heiss (editor), Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2018 12263094 2018 anthology life story autobiography Indigenous story

    'What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, attempts to showcase as many diverse voices, experiences and stories as possible in order to answer that question. Each account reveals, to some degree, the impacts of invasion and colonisation – on language, on country, on ways of life, and on how people are treated daily in the community, the education system, the workplace and friendship groups.

    'Accounts from well-known authors and high-profile identities sit alongside newly discovered voices of all ages, with experiences spanning coastal and desert regions, cities and remote communities. All of them speak to the heart – sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect.

    'This groundbreaking anthology aims to enlighten, inspire and educate about the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today.' (Publication Summary)

    Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2018
    pg. 219-225
Last amended 6 Apr 2018 11:16:56
  • Balmain, Glebe - Leichhardt - Balmain area, Sydney Inner West, Sydney, New South Wales,
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