Bennelong (? * 1764, † January 3, 1813 in Sydney) (also: " Baneelon " ) was an Elder from the Eora Aboriginal tribe, the tribe of Cammeraygal, ie an Aboriginal from around Port Jackson at the time of the first British settlement of Australia 1788. subsequently, he served as a mediator between the two cultures, both in Sydney and in the UK and is considered to be the developer of the Australian Pidgin English or Australian Aboriginal English.


The first governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip, realized soon after his arrival with the First Fleet into Port Jackson on 26 January 1788 that he needed the support of an Aboriginal in order to to build a peaceful relations with the Aborigines can, for other in order to obtain from them information which could help to feed the colony. He hired initially Arabanoo caught, the quickly learned English, but died in the smallpox epidemic in the fall of 1789.

Shortly after the arrival of the ships at Botany Bay a better Port Phillip was sought to land. Looking Phillip came into the Manley Bay, where he met Aborigines, among which was Bennelong, who stood out as particularly curious and eager to learn. In a second encounter in the Bay Aborigines were very open and Phillip named the bay so the Manly Bay, "the man gorgeous bay ." There had been no attacks or open conflicts of the Aborigines against the Europeans in the period to November 1789. On November 23, 1789, the 30 -year-old Bennelong, married at this time with Barangaroo, along with Colbee, married to Daringa, captured when they accepted fish by the colonists in Manly Cove. They were kept as dogs on a leash, everyone had a foot an iron ring. Colbee grazed on occasion from the ring and fled, while Bennelong remained. But when they declined him in April 1790 the foot ring, he also fled. Bennelong and Colbee were survivors of the smallpox epidemic, for they had smallpox scars. They were well taken care of in order to disguise the poor situation of the colony; it was reported that about 5.4 kg of fish each received daily for dinner.

Bennelong and Colbee met the next time in August 1790 again with Phillip on a journey into the interior of the country together. In a large group of Eoras it came to a meeting and no conflict. Bennelong was said to be very thin and have looked miserable, but seemed pleased about the meeting. However, it was at this meeting Phillip injured by a javelin a Aborigines by a misunderstanding, after all fled from the group of Aborigines.

Finally, Bennelong asked the Governor to build him a hut on the now called Bennelong Point site on which now stands the Sydney Opera House. As a gesture of a family relationship to the Aborigines he gave Phillip the Koori name Wolawaree.

Although seemed to have had an ambivalent relationship with the settlers and Governor Phillip Bennelong, Bennelong served the British colonists in its - ultimately unsuccessful - attempt to improve relations between the two groups:

Bennelong soon took over the European habits and clothes and learned English. In 1792, he traveled and another Aborigine named Yemmerrawanie (or Imeerawanyee ) with Phillip to England and were there on May 24, 1793, King George III. presented. Yemmerrawanie died in the UK and Benne Long's health deteriorated. He returned on HMS Reliance in February 1795 and brought back to Sydney on this trip to the surgeon George Bass a little the language of the Eora at. Increasingly overwhelmed by the European culture, Bennelong alienated when he returned quickly by his own people.

A letter which he wrote in 1796, is the first known written by an Aboriginal text. Through his better English, which he mastered and spread, he is regarded as the developer of the original Australian Pidgin English, a rudimentary English, which was despised by the whites and the new language of the Aborigines. Nevertheless, thus opening the possibility that black and white could communicate.


Bennelong was increasingly burdened by his alcohol consumption. He attended Sydney increasingly rare, increasingly lonely and died in confusion on 3 January 1813. He was buried on the estate of James Squire on Kissing Point, today near the suburb of Ryde in Sydney. In his honor, there is today the Bennelong Park.

In his obituary, published in the Sydney Gazette, it is referred to as unflattering through and through savage who could not be changed, which probably reflects how he had fallen in his last years in the esteem of the British invaders.

He was never fully accepted by the British, because he was black and did not fit his heritage as hunters and gatherers in their society. When he returned to Australia, but was not accepted by his own people because he had gone to England and had tried to become a part of British culture.

Bennelong was the first Aborigine, after a constituency for the Australian Parliament was named. This still exists today.


Bennelong had a daughter named Dilboong who died in their infancy, and a son, who was adopted by Rev. William Walker and christened with the name Thomas Walker Coke. Thomas died after a short illness at the age of about 20 years.