Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Coral Thomas Fellowship

Biennial research fellowship offered by the State Library of New South Wales. It was established in 2015 by Rob Thomas and his family at the end of his tenure as President of the Library Council in honour of his mother, Coral Kirkwood Thomas née Patrick (1920-1996). It is the Library's most significant fellowship.

Coral Thomas was born in Scotland 1920. She was an intellectual woman, awarded the Thow Scholarship in Civil, Constitutional and Public Law, and the Muirhead Prize for Law whilst attending Edinburgh University. Her academic career was curtailed during the War and in 1942 she joined the Foreign Office where she was employed in code and cipher work. During a posting to the British Embassy in Washington she met Fred Thomas, Group Captain of the RAAF Mission. They were married in May 1944 and moved to Melbourne where they raised their family and took an active part in the city's cultural life.

2016 - 2017
2018 - 2019
2020 - 2021
Administered by

The Dyarubbin Project: Aboriginal history, culture and places on the Hawkesbury River


The winner of the State Library of NSW Coral Thomas Fellowship in 2018-19 was a collaborative project, The Real Secret River: Dyarubbin. Based on a list of Aboriginal words recorded along Dyarubbin (the Hawkesbury River) in the 1820s by Reverend John McGarvie that is held in the Mitchell LIbrary, winning the Fellowship allowed the team behind the project to work on the recovery, recognition and revitalisation of the river's Darug and Darkinjung history, culture and Language.

McGarvie’s list and Aboriginal Dyarubbin


This essay follows on from Introducing the Dyarubbin Project: Aboriginal history, culture and places on the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales