6&8 Parramatta Square Heritage Wall

GML Heritage, Walker & Event Engineering

Where: 6 & 8 Parramatta Square, Parramatta NSW 2150
GML Heritage and Leanne Mulgo Watson, Community Construction
Year: 2022

The 6&8 Parramatta Square heritage display shares stories from the history of Parramatta. Once part of an ancient creek line, this landscape became home to many different people who grew, gathered and consumed food here. As you follow the creek line, each pool reveals a bronze sculpture representing a phase of the place’s history. The Aboriginal symbols etched into the wall tell the Badu Baraya story. Historical artefacts excavated on the site are also on display.

You are standing on Darug Country, hundreds of generations ago, mud, not granite, would have been beneath your feet, Tea-trees and casuarinas would have flourished under a canopy of eucalypts. Around the fire, Aboriginal families cooked, sang and shared their Nangamay I (Dreaming) of this place.

In 1788, Europeans began colonising this area, sowing crops for a hungry colony. This site was cultivated and granted to William D’Arcy Wentworth, an Irish-born settler.

Aboriginal ways of life were torn apart by colonisation. In 1814, Governor Macquarie’s Annual Feasts began, aiming to lure Aboriginal children to his new school, the Parramatta Native Institution.

As the town of Parramatta expanded, butcheries, bakeries, oyster saloons, inns of excess, houses of temperance and tea, and remnants of consumption and waste filled the site. The ancient creek line became a town drain.

Waves of migration brought new continental flavours and traditions. Greek-Australian families including the Manollarases, Psaltises and Sklavoses ran cafes serving American milkshakes and confectionery.

Threaded through the changes of this landscape is the continuity of Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal people, food and stores still thrive in Western Sydney.

Follow our Dyingurananga (grandmothers) nurawa (on Country) Tread softly on the footprints of our gurugal (long ago) murugu (paths). We help baraya (sing) up our Nangamayli (Dreaming) of this place, connected through badugumirri (waterhole) memories. That becomes a rushing badu (water) muru (path) At ngurra (camp) guman (casuarina) djirang (leaves on trees) are dungurali (dancing), the Bara are running to sea, buduwa (warm hands by the fire), ngara (listen) to our Dyingurananga (grandmothers) baraya (sing)

The heritage display wall showcases artefacts found on the display, such as, the Dilly bag, Coolamon, bottles, milkshake container and eel trap.

The Dilly bag was used by Aboriginal women to gather and transport food.

The Coolamon is an Aboriginal vessel for carrying food and babies.

The milkshake container is a fixture of 20th-century cafes and milk bars.

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