Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

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King of the Georges River

Gogi was a Dharawal man, born in the 1770s, one of the party who met with Governor Macquarie at the Cowpastures in 1810. He was interested in the new arrivals to his country at Liverpool and built relationships with some of them, such as Charles Throsby.

In the drought seasons of 1814 and 1816, Kogi moved with his family to Throsby's farm at Glenfield for protection against the increasingly aggressive settlers and soldiers who were trying to obstruct the movement of Aboriginal people towards the river. In 1816, along with other Dharawal people, they moved as far east as Botany along the river, escaping the military action that later became known as the Appin massacre.

The massacre made Aboriginal people very wary of the settlers. Kogi, as a leader of his people, accepted Macquarie's call in late 1816 to lay down arms in exchange for secure land at Liverpool. He was given a 'King Plate' by the governor, identifying him as 'King of the Georges River'. Kogi and his clan continued to live in and move around their country along the river, occasionally coming to ceremonies, such as Bungaree's great gathering at Sydney Cove in 1824, and the annual feast at Parramatta in 1826 where he was recorded as 'head of his tribe'. In 1834 he makes a last appearance in the records, in the Return of the Aboriginal Natives, [1] with his wives Nantz and Mary, and his son Jackey.

There are no records of formal land transfer to Gogi after 1816, unlike other Aboriginal people such as Maria Locke, who were given grants. However, it seems from later evidence that he settled on land at Voyager Point on the Georges River. The land had been granted to a Captain JT Williams, but it was never improved or settled. In 1857, his grandson Jonathon Goggey wrote a furious petition to the Governor, explaining that his father (Jackey) had lived on the land since before 1836. Aboriginal people were still living on the land when it was resumed for migrant hostels in 1949.


Heather Goodall and Allison Cadzow, Rivers and Resilience: Aboriginal People on Sydney's Georges River, UNSW Press, 2009, chapters 3 and 7


[1] Return of Aboriginal Natives Taken at Cassilis, Returns–1834, Documents Relating to Aboriginal Australians, 1816–1853, Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales, DL Add 81, pp 94–96 / a1893094–a1893096