Woollarawarre Bennelong (c.1764-1813) and his interactions with the first European settlers make his story one of the most enduring and discussed in Australian history.

The grave of Bennelong lies in the suburb of Putney on the banks of the Parramatta River, opposite the region known to Bennelong as Wan, his birthplace. 2013 marks two-hundred years since his death.

Finding Bennelong tells the story of a man in an extraordinary time, chartering unknown territory in a world of strange new arrivals. Using more recent research and contemporary thoughts on his circumstance, motivation and legacy, Finding Bennelong helps us to better understanding and answer the question: Who really was Woollarawarre Bennelong?

Finding Bennelong is a resource that can be shared for the benefit of all communities. By documenting and reflecting on our cultural heritage, Finding Bennelong aims to contribute to community harmony and cultural understandings in contemporary times.

Finding Bennelong is based on historical research by Dr. Keith Vincent Smith, author of Bennelong (2001) and MARI NAWI (2010). 

Community consultation and additional historical research by Graham Wilson, Susan McIntyre-Tamwoy and Allen Madden, Archaeological and Heritage Management Solutions Pty Ltd

Community Consultation was undertaken with the following participants: Allen Madden, Tanya Koeneman, Heidi Norman, Maureen Reyland, Djon Mundine, Craig Madden. Recordings taken from this consultation are available in 2 files: Part 1 and Part 2

City of Ryde Steering Group members:
Auntie Kerrie Kenton, Phil Hunt - Aboriginal Heritage Office, Dr Keith Vincent Smith, Dr Peter Mitchell, Christopher Ridings, Kathy Maltby Liz Berger, Lexie MacDonald, Angela Phippen, Sarah Shores and Paul Graham.

Script and video summaries written by Peter Tonkin, 3-D Projects.

Website Design and Development, Media Production, Poster Design and Project Management by Art of Multimedia
Beata Kade - Producer and Project Director
Jason Stevenson - Creative Director
Simon Olsen - Senior Digital Designer
Ahsan Rauf - Senior Developer
Veronica Medina – Production Assistant

Narrative recorded at Koori Radio. Audio technicians Mark Ross and Michael Jeffery. Voice Over Artists include: Traci Williams, Tjimba Possum Burns, Josh Anderson, Keith Buckley, Peter Callan and Lee Perry.

A Song of the Natives of New South Wales, c1793, written down from the Singing of BENELONG, and YAM-ROWENY, the two Chiefs who were brought to England some years ago, from Botany Bay, by Governor  Phillips [sic], rom Edward Jones, Musical Curiosities … London, 1811, page 15 British Library, London, Sung by Matthew Doyle and Clarence Slockee, 2010, recorded by Kevin Hunt at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Images used in the project were supplied by the following institutions and are individually labelled and credited in each relevant image Gallery:

  1. Donald Friend, Sydney Opera House Collection
  2. Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW
  3. Natural History Museum, London
  4. National Library of Australia
  5. British Library
  6. London Metropolitan Archives
  7. National Archives Kew
  8. Living Black SBS TV