Conflict on the North Shore

Venue: Stanton Library
Council Event
Cost: Free

Event Details

As part of the Gai-mariagal Festival Dr Stephen Gapps will be giving a talk on the conflict between the Gai-mariagal people and the European settlers which took place on Sydney's Lower North Shore.

From the attacks on vessels on the harbour and the spearing of Governor Phillip in the first years of settlement, to the plundering of farms at Lane Cove and attacks on shipping in Pittwater and the Lower Hawkesbury in the early 1800s, the north side of Sydney was certainly not immune to the warfare between colonists and Aboriginal people that occurred in the early colony.

This talk is based upon research conducted for his 2018 New South Press book The Sydney Wars – Conflict in the early colony 1788-1817. It will focus on the resistance by Gai-mariagal people and others against the spread of European settlement to the north of the harbour, positioning this conflict in the broader Sydney Wars that occurred between 1788 and ended not long after Governor Macquarie’s sweeping military campaigns of 1816.



Dr Stephen Gapps is a Sydney-based Historian and maritime museum curator.  He wrote his PhD thesis at UTS in 2003 on ‘Performing the Past: A Cultural History of Historical Re-enactments’. He was a lecturer on Public History, Australian History and the history of Colonialism at UTS 1997-2003. He is currently a curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum. In 2018 Stephen's book, The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony 1788-1817 was published by New South Books.


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Gai-mariagal Festival Brochure (all events) (15MB)




Stanton Library
234 Miller Street
North Sydney
New South Wales 2060


: 9936 8400

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