Native fuchsia, Purple waxlip orchid and Kangaroo apple

Green Square was once a sand dune wetland covered in dense heath and scrub.

Abundant water created a network of freshwater swamps, mangroves and creeks that flowed into Botany Bay.

The wetlands echoed with a cacophony of birdcalls. Wallabies, bandicoots, emus and dingoes also thrived. There were fish in the clear creeks, edible roots, fruits and nectar-bearing flowers – and there were plenty of mosquitoes and sandflies!

The Gadigal people of the Eora Nation fished, foraged and hunted here for thousands of years. They moved through the wetlands collecting food and meeting for social and ceremonial occasions while setting up camp on the coast and in the bays.

They created social, spiritual and cultural systems inseparable from country investing water, earth, rocks, trees and animals with stories explaining their origins.

The City has named several streets and parks in the Sydney Language in recognition of the traditional owners of this land.

Green Square places named in the Sydney Language:

  • Biyanbing Park: quail
  • Buming Park: red bill water fowl
  • Bunmarra Street: lizard
  • Dyurala Park: brolga
  • Gilbanung Street: grasshopper – The earliest recorded documentation of Sydney’s Aboriginal coastal language
  • Gunyama Park: wind from the south-west
  • Mulgu Park: black swan
  • Wulaba Park: rock wallaby.

Main image: Native fuchsia, Purple waxlip orchid and Kangaroo apple. Copies of sketches from Governor John Hunter's sketchbook, 'Birds & Flowers of New South Wales drawn on the spot in 1788, 89 & 90'. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.