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University of Newcastle Library Guides

Aboriginal Dreaming of the Hunter Region: Collections I - P

Dreamtime : Collections I - P

Mr Brian Laut
Additional papers and artefacts of the late Percy Haslam


Archives No.


First Date

Last Date


Manuscript notes and xerox copies relating to the letters of F.W Ludwig Leichhardt.




Class notes and material relating to Aboriginal words and Translation of Lord’s Prayer into Awabakal Language.

June 1981

Nov 1981


Manuscript hand-written and typescript notes relating to Aboriginal legends, initiation ceremonies, the Bora, the Defloration of girls, Worimi Initiation Ceremony, Western Australian Aboriginal Culture, Hastings River District, ‘The White Waratah’ legend and the Awabakal and Sport.




Typescript notes on Teaching Aboriginal History in Primary and Secondary Schools and Aboriginal Reincarnation beliefs.




Correspondence, typescript and hand written notes relating to Aboriginal Languages, Wonarua Tribe, Charles Murray of Wauchope, Hastings District Port Macquarie, The Platypus Legend, the Bora, The Dick Familyand the ‘Swansea Dig’.




Correspondence and typescript notes relating to Hunter Valley Aborigines and Scenes, Detribalisation, copy of Hastings District Historical Society Occasional Paper 1977/7 “The Port Macquarie Conquest: A Casual Study of Conflicting Cultures.” Prepared by Mr R. Howell.




Correspondence, typescript and manuscript notes relating to Aboriginal legends and mythology, the boomerang, Biraban, birdlife, language and customs.




Artefact – Two small bones from an Aboriginal midden labelled Hunt: Newcastle Scientific 4/5/1979




VHS Video Tape: Political Decision Making.
Duration 12’40”

March 1985



Artefacts collected 10/3/1986 from Cocked Hat Creek (Teralba)




Artefacts collected 7/4/1987 Field Centre Dudley on path leading to bluff.




Artefacts – Waste flakes, not necessarily Aboriginal




Artefacts collected 9/11/1980 from Pulbah Island




Artefacts – Water worn pebbles, not necessarily Aboriginal.




Artefacts from Burwood Beach – flints, ochre grinder and graved stone. Six (6) waste flakes and chert (Glenrock Lagoon)




Artefact – Heavy Turba Shell – for use in manufacture of fish hooks.




Artefacts – from Norah Head



Artefacts – ‘Mustlebrook’ (sic) – waste flakes, fossil wood, flaking core, mystery pebble and piece of marine shell.



Artefact c.1978 – Stone with flakes knocked off it, shattered in fire.


A7759(vi) Norah Head – fossils, flaking stone, water worn pebble. From sand dunes or beach site midden.    


Artefacts collected from Swansea Heads & Beach January 1984 and Belmont South 31st May 1984. Flakes, quartz, chert (not found at Belmont Beach) and waste flakes.

Jan 1984

May 1984


Artefacts collected from Wilson River “Stone Nest” Dec 1977

Dec 1977



Artefacts from Doyle’s Creek Denman Area collected 12th April 1984. Mammal bone, perhaps that of a possum, yellow pigment and waste flakes.

April 1984



Artefacts from [‘Mt Archer or Mt Arthur, Denman?] No. 1 Site Lake Macquarie’ collected 10th March 1986.

March 1986



Artefacts collected from Port Macquarie




Artefacts collected from Burra Gurra Cave. Fire Ash and ash deposit in cave, cockle shell, genuine piece of human flaked stone




Artefact - fossil








Artefacts – Chert (Central Hunter)




Artefacts from Burra Gurra Cave and artefact from [Mongrani Strictione?] 23rd Feb 1979



Artefacts from Denhman (sic). Hammer stone rough pitting – waste flakes – fire shattered items.




Artefacts from Denhan (sic). Water worn pebble, fossilised wood, fire shattered objects, waste pieces from Aboriginal work.




Various artefacts from unknown locations – grinstone used for pigment ochre colour


A7761(v) Various artefacts from unknown locations - quartz    
A7761(vi) Various artefacts from unknown locations – hammer stones    
A7761(vii) Various artefacts from unknown locations – flaking core wtare worn pebble perhaps from Swansea.    
A7771(i) Photograph (c.1980) and letter relating to Yellow Ochre hand painting.    


A7771(ii) Kodak Photographic Paper Box containing slides and box of photographs of Aborigines and Aboriginal sacred sites ca.1900 -1980s. Typed slide index by Percy Haslam reads as follows:

  1. Warrior of the Ngamba tribe at [text missing] which is called BANG-O-COO-BEEBAH.
  2. Louise and Charles Murray, children [text missing] of Hastings District tribe on beach near Port Macquarie.
  3. [Text Missing] Many years later. Peter Wright, Neil [M…] and Charles Murray using spears to [ ]. Neil Morcom is buried in the aboriginal (Yeppin) cemetery at Wauchope. Charles Murray, now a very old man, lives quietly at Wauchope. I met him at Xmas [text missing] (1977).
  4. [Text missing] […rl] with collection of pippies, a staple marine food, on beach near Port Macquarie. This type of shellfish was plentiful, but not gathered in winter for breeding reasons. Marine and shell food formed part of the basic diet of coastal aborigines. Mostly the shellfish were roasted near middens (kitchens).
  5. Dad ensures a meal for dinner. Porcupine is a delicacy (I can vouch). It is perhaps a little fatty, and in tribal state days was often reserved, as were young dingoes, for elderly men.
  6. A tribal elder cuts a sacred symbol pattern on a tree. Very little is known of the sacred cuts of any tribe. They were explained in secrecy during the Bora ceremonies.
  7. A man of high degree (fully initiated to the fourth degree) - garundah - gives to two initiands, who has passed through the initiation of the first stage - Ghill khill - a lesson on the kangaroo totem. Other degrees: Morowen, Woolangrah and garundah (six months in bush).
  8. Among some North Coast Tribes eating part of a snake (mostly carpet) was part of the initiation ceremony. Here, in the bush, a tribal elder demonstrates to two young initiands.
  9. A rare picture. A medicine man, or sorcerer, curing a patient close to the sacred tree by extracting the cause of the complaint - a stone. The doctors were good at sleight of hand. Sometimes bones were diagnised (sic) as the cause.
  10. Making a bark canoe. The bark has been stripped from a tree and fired use to strengthen it. This picture shows natives ready to join each end.
  11. Two ceremonial trees, long since disappeared, having a European value of 5 pounds each.
  12. Climbing a tree, either for possum or honey. Generally, women were sent up to get honey.
  13. Ngamba warriors prepare for the hunt. Note the killing boomerang, which did not return, and the flat type of shield used on the North Coast.
  14. Flaking tips for spears and tools on the beach.
  15. A similar scene at a midden on the beach near Lake Catai. This was also the site of fulgurites, of which we have a few samples of the small type and which have been the subject of some research by Dr Bashar. These were first found 65 years ago in a pocket of thin white sand in the midden area. Some fulgurites had soft roots in white milky substances. Scientific explanation is that fulguraties were fisioned together when lightning struck wet sand. We hand samples of sand taken 65 years ago and in December 1977. The site has changed but little in appearance. There is still flaking material there, plus wood and bramble charcoal found at a depth of two feet.
  16. The same midden site photographed 65 years ago.
  17. Old timber cutters from the Watagans of the 1850s and 1860s. They knew the Awabakal, Wonarua and Darkinoong, and possibly for few intruding Kamilaroi in their period of detribalisation. Descendants of some of these pioneers still work the Watagans. Such families have been a valuable source of material.
  18. One of a number of cut trees in a Bora instruction a limb cutting (human) site near Broke. These trees are in line with sacred paintings and stencils.
  19. An information in the same area painting by Wonarua. It says: There are rock wallabies around here, fish in Wollombi Brook, as well as goanna and turtle, but beware: This is bad snake country.
  20. Also in the same area: cave with charcoal stencils. Close by is rock platform with toe line where karardjees stood to address boombits (initiands) below. [missing]
  21. Mr Lyle ("Snow") Brickman, of Paynes Crossing with Wonarua killing stick he found in a sandy cave near his farming property. He has also unearthed stone artifacts while ploughing. This is regarded as a perfect example of Wonarua craft.
  22. The "Boambee" cave at Milbrodale. Magnificent figure in red ochre, representing "guardian of the valley". The stencils are first class and in the small ones confirm that this was one area where women were initiated as young girls.Nayantinla
  23. "Nayantinla" - the all seeing eye often found at approaches to sacred sites.
  1. Cedar Creek paintings. Note variety of work and large painted hands, with ceremonial significance.
  2. A typical scene of the sand-clogged Wollombi Brook when in low water, with rising mountains in the distance that contain sacred overhangs and paintings.
  3. Mr Joe Sansome on his Gloucester property with a honey tree preserved by his family containing cut toe holds aborigines used to ascend. His grandfather could recall when local natives (Gringhai or Worimi) climbed the tree for honey.
  4. A red ochre flying possum painting in a sacred cave at Mount Manning. Other animals portrayed in this site are the dingo and wombat. Darkinoong country, with probable intrusion by Durak people.
  5. A sacred site area on the Watagan Mountains. This leads to rare mud paintings of the Awabakal (largely vandalised) and a military outpost, where weapons were sharpened in grooves. The Watagans, so little explored, holds many sacred site areas and could be the most productive in the years ahead.
  6. A section of the punishment scene at Burra Gurra (Devils Rock).
  1. (A) How a picture can be distorted by a camera - a warning on the need to get everything into proper focus when using a camera for this work.
  2. Mr Mel Jurd, of Wollombi - family had been settlers in this area for about 150 years - steps on a huge carved footprint said to have been the path of the sky spirit when he came to earth.
  3. Notes on this full penal scene. Interpretation still requires more study.
  4. One of some carvings found on a beach between Nobbys and Redhead.
  5. One of many horseshoe structures in Port Stephens area.
  6. Rock Platform approach to a larger structure.
  7. One [are arc?], which reveals itself after rain, similar to the ring at Singleton Army camp, of the ring surrounded by these structures. Data still classified.
  8. Rocks at the base of trees that are [an] one approach (eastern) to the structures: similar pattern used for trees [nears] the stone nests at Wilson River and Crescent Head.
A7771(iii) Copy of The Port Stephens Blacks: The Recollections of William Scott [1929] (2.31 MB PDF)
A7771 (iv) Four National Parks and Wildlife Service booklets on the Aborigines of New South Wales entitled "Coastal People", "Murray People", "Mountain People" and People of the Plains". [n.d.]
A7771(v) Copy of 1980 Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Land Rights and Sacred and Significant sites Report.
A7771(vi) Copy of Puleeta Cessnock Corrective Centre Issue 2 Dec. 1986
A7771(vii) 1 folder of newsclippings relating to Aboriginal cave paintings, Eric Taggart of Broke, Kamilaroi, Tom Dillon grave at Sandgate Cemetery (last full blood Aborigine of the Hawkesbury River Tribe, the Darook ) and typescript signed by Percy Haslam entitled "Darkinoong Defloration of maidens at Murray's Run. At site of Ceremonial cave with symbolical paintings in charcoal." [c.1975].

Photocopy of Clark Manuscript entitled:

Some Rambling Remarks on the Life and History of James Swales Clark and his wife, Elizabeth McDonald. Hartlands, September 9th, 14. As typed from hand-written account, inscribed - "To Ivy M Clark: A birthday greeting for 13th October 1917 From Aunt Elizabeth" HT May, 1962. [81 leaves]



Aborigines Using Fire to Hunt Kangaroos
by Joseph Lycett (ca.1775-1828)


Muller, Peter (Faculty of Architecture)

A6360(xii) Xerox copies of description and locations of Aboriginal cave paintings, sites and drawings in the Hunter Valley. [Restricted Access].

Newcastle Trades Hall Council

A7046 Aboriginal files:
A7046(i) 1972 file
A7046(ii) Newcastle Trades Hall Council Aboriginal Advancement Committee, Constitution and Policy Statement [ca.1968].
A7046(iii) Seminar for Aboriginal Rights, 11th July 1971. Minutes and Resolutions.
A7046(iv) Correspondence and related papers, 1970.
A7046(v) Aboriginal Rights in New South Wales by Peter Tobin
Newcastle Symposium on Racism, 1972
Police and Blacks by Bobbi Sykes.
Aboriginal land rights and the Northern Territory.
Australian Aborigines Commonwealth Policy and Achievements, January 1972.

N.S.W. Legislative Council Committee -
Select Committee on the Condition of the Aborigines.

B9841- B9842 Aborigines; replies to a circular letter addressed to the clergy of all denominations. October 31st, 1846.

University of Newcastle Department of Community Programs
Oral History Research Projects

A6967(v) Living conditions of Worimi Aborigines of Port Stephens before and after the appearance of Europeans.[Essay by John McLachlan].
A7466b(xv) How effectively did Aboriginal people resist the European invasion of their country? by David Latimore.


Page, Irwin

A5929(viii) The “Mika” and “Kulpi” of the Australian Aboriginals by T.P.Anderson Stuart M.D. Professor of Physiology in the University of Sydney. June, 1896.
A5931(ii) Press clippings on the Awabakals 1975-1977.
A5932(xiii) The Port Stephens Blacks - recollections of William Scott, prepared by Gordon Bennet.
A5932(xxi) Australian Aboriginal Culture and Exhibition arranged by the Australian National Committee for UNESCO, 1953, reprinted 1968.

Pearson, Janice
(Daughter of the Late Percy Haslam)

A7772 E.A. Watson Collection of New Guinea and North Australian Artefacts

Please note: This collection is currently incomplete, the whereabouts of most of the artifacts is a mystery. They were formerly held in custody Mr Percy Haslam. Since his death in 1986 the bulk of the items in the collection disappeared. What remained has resided, since that time, with Mr Haslam's daughter, Mrs Janice Pearson, who transferred them to the ARBSC Unit in September 2001.The items not present are marked [MISSING].

"The E.A. "Wilbur" Watson Collection of Artefacts sent back while serving in the R.A.A.F from Northern Australia - New Guinea - and the Pacific Islands (1941 - 1945). Now in the custody of Mr Perc Haslam M.A. at Newcastle University."

  1. SACRED STONE - Arnhem Land 1944 - Melville Bay Area, where Flying Boat base was near Grove. [MISSING]
  2. AXE-HANDLE - Groote Island - There were eight axe heads under an old dead tree, which was found when tree was being removed by manual labour to build a dam for the local mission station. Missionary Gray had his tribal natives make the handle to complete the axe in 1945. [MISSING]
  3. SWORD - Wooden sword came from Borneo 1944-1945. Wood was especially fire-tempered. (Genuine tribal sword). [MISSING]
  4. BOOMERANG (KILLING) - Boomerang from Groote Island 1945. Collected after a tribal fight (Tribal) [MISSING]
  5. WAR STICK - From Arhem Land. [MISSING]
  6. SHELLS - New Britain 1941 - 1942 (Large, Medium and Small)
  7. BEAD NECKLACE - Small type beads from New Guinea Highlands. (Bead nuts from tree). [MISSING]
  8. SHELL NECKLACE - Small shell necklace from Pacific Island 1941. [MISSING]
  9. GRASS BAG - New Guinea native beatle nut-bag (for carrying beatle nuts). [MISSING]
  10. CARVED CHINESE FISHERMAN (WOOD) ALSO TURTLE & TWO DOGS - These were made by a Chinese family in Rabaul in 1941. [ONLY THE FISHERMAN IS MISSING].
  11. CARVED WOODEN DOLL - Made by Mohamed Indian in 1916. [MISSING]
  12. MODEL CANOES WITH STEERING OAKS (TWO) - From Buka in the Soloman Islands in 1941. [STEERING OAKS ARE MISSING]
  13. COLOURED GRASS SKIRT - Was made from natural coloured grasses from New Guinea Highlands (rare skirt). [MISSING]
  14. CAT'S EYES (FIVE) - These are used in Aboriginal ceremonies. [MISSING]
    One spear complete (head on stick) Killing type [MISSING]
    One spear complete (head on stick) Fighting type [MISSING]
    One spear head - genuine tribal spearhead. [MISSING]
    Two spear heads - mission made with accompanying sticks. [MISSING]
    Note: TRIBAL ARTEFACTS - are made from primitive tools. MISSION ARTEFACTS - are made from primitive tools plus extra tools like files found at mission station.
  16. BOONG TWIST - Used as a form of currency in Northern Australia tribes also New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Northern Pacific are etc. Cost Three pence-half penny a stick. An example of what it would buy in Solomon Islands. One bag of oysters with the natives to open them ready for eating with enough to feed twelve people with enough left over to feed another ten. Plug tobacco mixed with molasses used for white tribe trading. [MISSING]

Purfleet Special Works Project

A5609(xi)-(xii) First Quarterly report, Oct. 1974-Jan. 1975 and Second report, June 1975.
[A Project to assist the Aborigines at the Purfleet settlement near Taree, New South Wales].