A set of notebooks dating from 1788 that record the first attempts at communication between British settlers and Indigenous Australians reveals language that is still in use in Sydney Aboriginal communities. The Dawes notebooks, named for First Fleet Officer William Dawes who recorded his discussions with Aboriginal people of La Perouse, are on international loan from the SOAS University of London to the State Library of New South Wales’s landmark exhibition, “Living Language: Country, Culture, Community,” which opened July 13. The notebooks are important because they retain the conversational context that is crucial for contemporary language revival work.
Sydney (N.S.W.) Morning Herald, July 14