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Bidjigal people
aka: Bediagal.[1]
Language family:Pama–Nyungan
Language branch:Yuin–Kuric
Language group:Dharug
Area (unknown)
Bioregion:Sydney basin
Location:St George, Botany Bay, Western Sydney, and the Hills District
RiversCooks & Georges rivers;
Salt Pan & Wolli creeks
Other geological:Bidjigal Reserve
Notable individuals

The Bidjigal (also spelt Bediagal[1]) people are an Aboriginal Australian people whose traditional lands are modern-day western, north-western, south-eastern, and southern Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia.


The Bidjigal are sometimes said to be a clan of the Dharug people, and sometimes a clan of the Eora people. Kohen has suggested that there may have been some confusion between two distinct groups: the Bidjigal (living in the Baulkham Hills area) and the Bediagal at Botany Bay in the Salt Pan Creek area.[2] Attenbrow discusses their possible origin and location, and concludes that the question is "somewhat vexed".[3] Norman Tindale, referring on the earliest historical sources, regarded them as a horde occupying the area just north of Castle Hill,[4] Their geographical location is confusing, as they seem to have been based in southern Sydney, in the region between the Cooks River, Wolli Creek and the Georges River to Salt Pan Creek, and yet also seem to have inhabited land in the Hills District of Sydney, in what is now Baulkham Hills.

Language group[edit]

They were a subgroup/clan of either the Dharug or Eora people, the Bidjigal would have spoken a variety of Dharug, one of the Yora languages.[5]

The name Bidjigal means plains-dweller in the Dharug language.

Modern place name[edit]

The name of the Bidjigal is today remembered by the name of the 186-hectare (460-acre) Bidjigal Reserve, in Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill, Carlingford, North Rocks and Northmead to the north-west of Sydney. The Bidjigal Reserve was known as Excelsior Park until 2004.

Notable individuals[edit]

Perhaps the most famous Bidjigal person was Pemulwuy, who successfully led Aboriginal resistance forces against the British Colonial forces, before finally being captured and killed and eventually beheaded in 1802.[1][6]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d Kohen 2005.
  2. ^ Kohen 1993, p. 21.
  3. ^ Attenbrow 2010, p. 27.
  4. ^ Tindale 1974, p. 127.
  5. ^ Dixon 2002, p. xxxv.
  6. ^ Goodall & Cadzow 2009, p. 31.


  • Attenbrow, Val (2010). Sydney's Aboriginal Past: Investigating the Archaeological and Historical Records. University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 978-1-742-23116-7.
  • Dixon, Robert M. W. (2002). Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development. Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-47378-1. |volume= has extra text (help)
  • Goodall, Heather; Cadzow, Allison (2009). Rivers and Resilience: Aboriginal People on Sydney's Georges River. University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 978-1-921-41074-1.
  • Kohen, J. L. (1993). The Darug and their neighbours: the traditional Aboriginal owners of the Sydney region. Blacktown and District Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-646-13619-6.
  • Kohen, J. L. (2005). "Pemulwuy (1750–1802)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press.
  • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Eora (NSW)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University.

Further reading[edit]