Talking History – Hidden In Plain View

Paul Irish and Tom Gara present August’s Talking History lecture: Hidden In Plain View: The Colonial Aboriginal Histories of Adelaide and Sydney

PLEASE NOTE – 5.45pm for a 6.00pm start. 

Aboriginal settlements and camps were a feature of Australia’s capital cities – and, indeed, other major cities and towns – throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries. They took many forms from transient camps to more or less permanent settlements, but they have one thing in common; they have been largely forgotten and their existence has been ignored – perhaps even deliberately erased – from local histories. Paul Irish, a Sydney researcher and author of the recently published book Hidden in Plain View, will examine the origin, history and nature of settlements in Sydney and discuss the traditional affiliations and lifestyle of the residents of those camps. Tom Gara will discuss the history of Aboriginal camps in Adelaide in the 19th and 20 centuries.

Paul and Tom will then discuss how factors such as local geography, traditional tribal connections and Government policies appear to have affected the nature, longevity and ultimate fate of Aboriginal settlements in the two cities.


This free public lecture is part of History Trust of South Australia’s Talking History series. Book online here.

PLEASE NOTE – 5.45pm for a 6.00pm start. Parking available on Torrens Parade Ground, off Victoria Drive. Refreshments will be provided.


Paul Irish is a Sydney historian and archaeologist with heritage consultancy MDCA. He was the recipient of the 2015 NSW History Fellowship and has recently published the book Hidden In Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney (NewSouth Publishing).

Tom Gara has worked for several decades as an historian specialising in Aboriginal history. He is currently employed as the senior research officer in the Native Title Section of the SA Crown Solicitor’s Office. His publications include several papers on the post-contact Aboriginal history of the Adelaide area.