First Peoples

St. John’s Cemetery Project acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the traditional custodians of the lands now known collectively as “Australia.”

abstract picSpecifically, we acknowledge those who discovered the First Fleeters on their lands in 1788, including the Burramattagal clan of the Dharug People, the traditional custodians of nura (country) on which the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta) is located.

We also acknowledge that the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta) is most likely the final resting place of the son of Woollarawarre Bennelong and husband of Maria Lock: Dicky Bennelong (a.k.a. Thomas Walker Coke).

Finally, we pay respect to elders past, present, and future.


To acknowledge this traditional custodianship, a dual naming policy has been adopted in this project. As a mark of respect, as a means of reconciliation, and to audiate, that is “mentally sound” language, Aboriginal endonyms have not only been included when using placenames in the essays in this project wherever possible, they have also been given precedence over European imposed exonyms, which have been subordinated by appearing after the Aboriginal endonyms and in closed brackets: for example, Warrane (Sydney Cove), Cadi (Sydney). For the same reasons, the specific endonym for each Aboriginal group and/or clan is preferred and used when known, otherwise when speaking of more than one group or an unidentified group, the terms Aboriginal People or First Peoples are used, with the word ‘People’ capitalised as a mark of respect. For a lengthier discussion of the reasons for this policy, click here.