Gerringong and Bombo were good source of ochre, used in ceremonies.
Language spoken in the region was Dharawal.
The Wadi Wadi people were nomadic and followed trails to La Perouse, Bass Point, Wreck Bay and over the mountains to Cooma and Jindabyne.
Trading and travel occurred across tribal boundaries
The people of Lake Illawarra had strong associations with the people from Kangaroo Valley
By 1924, there were few aboriginal people in Kiama. with camps at Brown Street, at the top of Bombo Hill and Minnamurra River.
Some local Aboriginal men were employed in the quarries and saw mills of the area.
Many Aboriginal people of the South Coast died in the great flu epidemics of 1890 and 1919
The following are possible meanings to local names:
Attunga - high place
Bombo - from Thumbon (renowned head man)
Bong Bong - big swamp
Coolangatta - splendid lookout or view
Gerringong - fearful noises on beach
Elanora - home by the sea
Illawarra - from the aboriginal words Elourera or Allowrie, meaning high place near the sea
Jamberoo - track or meeting place
Kembla - from Djembla (wallaby)
Kiama - name of the father spirit of Eastern NSW (Kiahma or Baiame); or fish caught from rocks or where the seas roar
Minnamurra - sheltered camping ground, lots of fish
Moruya - home of the black swan
Nowra - Black cockatoo
Terrara - scrubby place
Tongarra - Place of cabbage trees
Toolijooa - place of emus
Warrigal - wild dog
Wollongong - from Wollonyuh or Wollonga, meaning sound of the sea or hard ground near water
Kiama library has several resources relating to Illawarra and South Coast aboriginal history. You are welcome to use these resources within the library.
Illawarra and South Coast Aborigines 1770-1850, (1990), compiled by Michael Organ, Aboriginal Education Unit, University of Wollongong.
The Wodi-Wodi people of the Illawarra (1981) by Basil Griffin
A History of Aboriginal people of the Illawarra 1770-1970 (2005), Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW)
Murni Dhungang Jirrar: Living in the Illawarra, (2005). Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW)
What makes the waves (Arrilla of Northern Illawarra). This story is said to have been narrated by Ellen, daughter of Mickey Johnson
Noogaleek: Belonging to me an Aboriginal oral history, (1987). Illawarra Education Consultative Group
Aboriginal history of our area , Gerringong and District Historical Society. (pamphlet)
Aboriginal Illawarra, (2005), Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), (pamphlet)
Local Aborigines in the Illawarra, Don Nash, (unpublished paper)
The riches of ancient Australia, Josephine Flood, (1990).
Dispossession: Black Australians and white invaders (1989), Henry Reynolds.
University of Wollongong - Illawarra Aboriginals; an introductory history
University of Wollongong - Illawarra and South Coast Aboriginals; 1770 to 1900
University of Wollongong - Library - Illawarra History
University of Sydney - Local Aboriginal History and Culture
Wollongong City Council - Aboriginal communties
Office of the Environment and Heritage - A history of the Aboriginal people of the Illawarra
List of Australian place names of Aboriginal origin - Wikipedia
Trove - Aboriginal languages intriguing and sophisticated
Reconciliation revealed in Kiama - article from Local History Society Kiama
Murni, Dhungang, Jirrar - Aboriginal people and wild resource use
Australian's Together - better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) - Aboriginal people and the colony of NSW