I’m Gavin Crawford. I spent the majority of my working life in academic publishing and bookselling, and 13 years as M.D. of the Sydney University Medical Society. In retirement, I have returned to historical research and writing; applying the principles studied in a history and economic history focused degree in the 1970s.
In my youth, I sailed 12ft skiffs and VS’s out of Watsons Bay sailing clubs, and have returned to my roots in writing an indigenous and colonial history of “Courmangara” (Watsons Bay). I have also researched my family’s experiences in immigrating to Victoria, N.S.W and Queensland on sailing ships in the mid and late 1800’s.
I’m a volunteer guide with the Australian National Maritime Museum, and a volunteer at the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Wayside Chapel.
As well as regular overseas travel, I have traveled extensively in Australia, including to Kakadu, Purnululu (Bungle Bungles), Uluru & Kata Tjuta, the Daintree, Charters Towers, the Grampians, Kangaroo Island, the Murray and the Darling Rivers, Warrumbunges, Macquarie Marshes, Myall Creek, Hospital Creek, Brewarrina and Gundabooka N.P.
My DNA ancestry is Scottish, English Scandinavian and German; I’m a 5th generation “Australian”.
“Warami” is Dharug for “hello”. “Eora is Dharug for “Country”. “Warami Eora:Hello Sydney” is not a business, so much as an experience that I want to share with as many people as possible, so that there is greater understanding of the unique culture that is Dharawal and Dharug country. I have structured four walking and harbour tours that are scenically attractive and culturally enriching. I explain first peoples lives on Dharawal country and the arrival of Europeans and the clash of cultures. Despite over 230 years of occupation, first nations people are maintaining their cultural heritage, and it is a rich and rewarding one that everyone should respect and share.
I have lived on the following country and pay my respects to elders past and present.
My parents lived in Ningy Ningy country (Redcliffe, Queensland). They came from Boonwurrungm country (my father – South Melbourne) and Birrabirragal (Gadigal) country (my mother – Vaucluse)
The Ningy Ningy clan was the southernmost clan of the Undambi nation. I was born in 1947, in Turrbal country (Virginia Hospital), some kilometres south , but lived in Ningy Ningy and Wakka Wakka country (Kingaroy) for the first two years of my life.
Around 1950, we moved to my maternal grandparents house on Birrabirragal country (Vaucluse) and three years later to Courmangara (Watsons Bay), part of the Dharawal nation.
In 1966 I moved to the Kulin nations country, living on Boonwurrungm country (Beaumaris). Over the next 5 years, I lived on other parts of Boonwurrungm country (South Yarra, St Kilda and Chelsea). For a brief time, I also lived on Boroondara (Camberwell) country, home of the Wurundjeri clan of the Woiwurrung nation, and was married there in 1970.
In 1971, I moved back to Dharawal country (Vaucluse and Bondi), where our son Kent was born, before once again moving in 1972, back to Ningy Ningy country (Redcliffe) where another son, Drew, was born.
In 1978, we moved to Darramuragal country (St Ives) and in 1996 to Gadigal country (Petersham), both Dharawal nation country.
For over half my life I have lived in Dharawal country, and Courmangara is my spiritual home. It is where my ashes will be scattered.
Climate and Weather
If you are like most people, you’ll be checking on the weather you can expect to experience when visiting Sydney and taking a walking tour. Climate change is responsible for more changeable and volatile weather in Sydney and like any city of over 5 million people, it creates its own microclimate.
Dharuga have experienced changing climate patterns for tens of thousands of years and unlike the western world, record their seasons according to experience of country rather than day’s weeks or months. Seasons are fluid. They are what they are, for as little or long a time as the conditions apply. Some years shorter seasons, sometimes longer.
Indigenous people also have a longer-term understanding of weather patterns. Aunty Fran Bodkin’s Bidiagal clan has two other cycles that run considerably longer than the yearly cycle, the Mudong, or life cycle which covers about 11 or 12 years, and the Garuwanga, or Dreaming, which is a cycle of about 12,000 to 20,000 years..
This is the current season:
The time of the Burran (Kangaroo) is Gadalung Marool—hot and dry, and it could be any time from December to February
Some days are warm and others very hot. Some days wet, others dry and others hot with an afternoon thunder storm. Male kangaroos become quite aggressive in this season and he Dharuga are forbidden to eat them or other animals because hunting occurs in the morning and eating at night and the heat might cause food poisoning if the meat rots. It’s also bush fire season, a time when the lighting of fire, except well away from the bush and on a bed of sand is forbidden by the D’haramuoy or Keeper of the Flame. This is signalled by the flowering of the Weetjellan (Wattle). It also signals that there will be violent storms and heavy rain, so camping near creeks and rivers is not recommended.