Wallumedegal Aborigines

The Wallumedegal Aboriginal people lived on the northern side of the Lane Cove River. However, a mere thirty years after colonisation predominately by Europeans the Wallumedegal had been dispossessed to the upper reaches of the river.

The following summary of the Wallumedegal draws heavily on the work of Dr Val Attenbrow, the north shore Aboriginal Heritage Office and personal observations and reports of various members of the First Fleet[1].

When the English arrived at Warrane (Port Jackson) in January 1788 there were three Aboriginal tribes inhabiting the lower north shore (as shown in the map below). In the vicinity of the Mosman district were the Borogegal. The largest group, the Gayamaygal, were along Warrin ga (Middle Harbour) and the country from Kuba Kaba (Middle Head) to the country of the Darramurragal clan to the north-west. The Wallumedegal inhabited the northern shore and along the Turrumburra (Lane Cove River).

Aboriginal tribes of the northern shore [i]

The Wallumede mob inhabited the country on the northern side opposite Warrane (Sydney Cove) [ii]. They were part of the Aboriginal Sydney Language Nation (some time mistakenly called Eora and later Biyal-Biyal). [iii]

In February 1790, Governor Arthur Phillip wrote: “… the opposite Shore (northern shore of Sydney Harbour} is called Wallumetta [iv] & the Tribe Wallumedegal”. Then in April 1790, Lt. King wrote “the tribe of Wallumade inhabit the North Shore opposite Warrane”. In Phillip’s 1793 book ‘Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island’, Wallumedegal appears as the sixth in the list of the names of the eighteen ‘Tribes’ around Sydney Cove”. Historian George Thornton wrote that “there was another tribe a little west of opposite Sydney Cove; those were called Walumetta”. [v]  In First Fleet reports, the Wallumedegal were said to occupy the north shore of Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) immediately opposite Sydney Cove and west along the north shore of the Par-ra-mat-ta (Parramatta River). [vi]

Later historians mention that “the Wallumedegai lived in the North Shore area of Sydney. [vii] . Willoughby Librarians noted that “the Wallumedegal clan may have also had a close association with the Willoughby area” and “today, few if any of the Aboriginal people living in the northern suburbs can trace their ancestry to the … Wallumedegal clan.” [viii] Warner [ix] also mentions that “opposite Sydney Cove, on the North Shore, lived the Wallumedegal”. Currie commented that “the Lane Cove River was believed to be the home of the Wallumedegal”. [x]

Within 30 years of predominately European settlement the Warrumedegal had effectively been dispossessed from the lower reaches of the Turrumburra (Lane Cove River) and Sydney Harbour. A French tourist to Australia (Capt. Louis de Freycinet) reported that by 1819: “the Wallumedegal did not occupy the north shore opposite Sydney Cove. [xi] Freycinet had been rowed along the Par-a-matta (Parramatta) river from Warrane in 1819.

Read the full story of the Wallumedegal


West Ward Bulletin

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The West Ward of Willoughby Council lies mainly to the west of Archer St in Chatswood through to the Lane Cove River.

West Ward of Willoughby

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Revised state legislation

The NSW Parliament passed amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) in the Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act 2016. Two changes of relate to State of the Environment reporting & the requirement for a Community Engagement Strategy.

  • Community Engagement Strategy: The council must prepare and implement a community engagement strategy based on social justice principles for engagement with the local community in developing and reviewing the Community Strategic Plan following the ordinary local government election. Council is not required to establish and implement a community engagement strategy in accordance with section 402A, as inserted by the amending Act, until 12 months after the next ordinary election of councillors following that amendment.
  •  State of the Environment reporting: State of environment reporting is no longer required from the commencement of the new cycle of integrated planning and reporting following the ordinary local government election.


Construction noise

Extended construction hours: The Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development—Construction Work Days) Order (No 3) 2021 was made on 30 July 2021.Under this Order, construction can take place again on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays without restrictions until 24 December 2021.

From 25 December 2021, no extended construction work days will be permitted – all work will need to be in line with the consent conditions. 

Preserving heritage

Providing certainty for heritage DAs : New guidelines are available to help councils with environmental heritage and Aboriginal cultural heritage development applications. The guidelines provide certainty on which development applications (DAs) need to be referred to Heritage NSW, and how to refer them via the NSW Planning Portal. This information is now available on the Heritage NSW website: Guidance for local councils, Integrated development (for applicants). If you have any questions, please contact Heritage NSW or the Planning Delivery Unit.

Check out more heritage homes in Willoughby

Planning ‘regs’ review

Review of the EP&A Regulation: As part of our commitment to the ongoing improvement of the NSW planning system, the Department has been undertaking a review of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. This review follows the 2018 changes to the 2000 Regulation’s parent Act, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).

While the EP&A Act provides the overarching framework for the planning system in NSW, the 2000 Regulation supports the day-to-day requirements of this system. The proposed regulation is now on exhibition until 22 September 2021. You can also contact the project team via email at regulation.review@planning.nsw.gov.au

Solar & Internet for all?

Changes to the Infrastructure SEPP now on exhibition: The Infrastructure SEPP simplifies the planning process and helps stakeholders provide essential infrastructure. There are two proposed amendments to the ISEPP.:- Fast-track access to household solar batteries and Boost mobile and internet access. For more information on the proposed changes please visit the webpage. We welcome your feedback on both exhibitions until 13 September 2021.

More housing coming

Draft Housing SEPP recently exhibited: The state government is looking to make it easier to deliver a greater choice and supply of housing so that we can meet the needs of a growing population. The proposed Housing State Environmental Planning Policy will help provide more housing options to meet the changing needs of people living in NSW. They recently asked for feedback about whether the draft provisions will deliver the right balance of certainty and flexibility for all stakeholders. View the exhibition package via the NSW Planning Portal. For more information you can email the team at housingpolicy@planning.nsw.gov.au or call 02 8289 6701

It is believed that these proposed changes will see a decrease in the size of dwellings but with more bedrooms. Thus increasing the density of the population.