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Biraban, drawn by Alfred Thomas Agate.
Died (1846-04-14)14 April 1846
Other names John McGill
Spouse(s) Patty

Biraban (died 14 April 1846), also known as John McGill (also spelt M'Gill, MacGil, Maggill), was a leader of the Awabakal people of Indigenous Australians at Lake Macquarie. His native name, also spelt Barabahn, Bi-ra-bán, and Birabān, means "eaglehawk" in the Awabakal language.

Biraban spoke English fluently, and acted as an interpreter between Aborigines and settlers. From 1825 he served as an informant to the missionary Lancelot Edward Threlkeld teaching him the Awabakal language and tribal lore.

The Biraban Public School was named after him in recognition of where he used to live.


  • Threlkeld, L. E. (1850). "Reminiscences of Birabān". A key to the structure of the Aboriginal language. Sydney: Kemp and Fairfax. pp. 5–7. 

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