The Wiradjuri were the occupants of the Mudgee district, as well as of a large part of what is now the state of New South Wales, prior to the arrival of Europeans. Contact with the Europeans was disastrous for the Wiradjuri whose numbers were soon decimated. By the end of the 1800s the Wiradjuri had virtually disappeared from the greater Mudgee district. There are, however, numerous traces of their extensive occupation of the land.
Regrettably, the Mudgee Historical Society Inc has very little documentation or artefacts pertaining to indigenous history and culture. Too often in the past records pertaining to Aborigines were non-specific eg. Mother Aborigine. Hopefully museum records can be augmented in the future by data bases and family history and memoirs. Initial liaison has been made with representatives of the local Wiradjuri community, with the aim of the Colonial Inn Museum becoming more representative.
In the early 2000s the Mudgee Historical Society assisted AIATSIS (the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Studies), an organization based in Canberra, in compiling an extensive history of “Diana Mudgee”, an Aboriginal woman who was born in 1826 in the Mudgee district where she lived most of her life apart from a short break at Mulgoa with the Cox family.
All that material has been gathered into an online exhibition which can be found at the AIATSIS website.
It makes fascinating reading. Hopefully this exhibition will uncover even more information about Diana Mudgee and enable a more complete family tree of her descendants to be compiled.