Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website may contain images of deceased persons which may cause sadness or distress.
In the spirit of reconciliation, the City of Ryde acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land the Wallumedegal clan and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal people lived for thousands of years in what we call the City of Ryde. When the first Europeans settled at Sydney Cove in 1788 the traditional owners of this area were the Wallumedegal. That name was told to Captain Arthur Phillip, first governor of the convict colony of New South Wales, by Woollarawarre Bennelong who came from the clan called the Wangal on the south side of the river.
It is likely that the name Wallumedegal or Wallumattagal was derived from wallumai the snapper fish, combined with matta, a word used to describe a place, usually a water place, as with Parramatta and Cabramatta. That would mean they were the snapper clan and the fish was their totem, just as burra (the eel) was the totem of the Burramatta or Boromeda-gal or clan at Parramatta and cobra (the white grub of the shipworm) that of the Cobragal at present Liverpool and Cabramatta.