Ngarrindjeri Whaling Narratives and Reconciliation at Encounter Bay, South Australia

Adam Paterson, Chris Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sealers and whalers were amongst the first newcomers to interact with Aboriginal South Australians. Beginning from around 1803, crews made up of primarily European and American men visited the southern coastline of South Australia and occasionally stayed for several years, establishing permanent settlements on the uninhabited offshore islands. Company records, ledgers, ship logs, and occasionally personal journals and letters provide tantalizing glimpses of the lives of Aboriginal people living in proximity to these seasonal settlements. Little was made of these records until the publication of Rebe Taylor’s book Unearthed, which documents the abduction of Aboriginal women by sealers and whalers, and their confinement on the islands along Australia’s southern coastline. Most of the women whose lives were unearthed by Taylor had come from Tasmania, although some were Ngarrindjeri, a people who lived along the southern Fleurieu Peninsula, Coorong, Lower Murray River, and Lakes region of Southern Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalRCC Perspectives
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Environmental Knowledge
  • Environmental Politics
  • Resources
  • animals
  • whales
  • colonialism
  • indigenous knowledge
  • indigenous peoples
  • narratives
  • whaling

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