When Aboriginal people set up camp in the dunes, Aboriginal people most likely slept in bough-framed shelters, with bark and cabbage tree leaves forming the roof (fig. 4). It is most likely that they set up camp along the margins of the swamps rather than on top of the open dunes, but we have no direct evidence to confirm this. The swamps would have provided a range of foods and resources, including fish, eels, tortoise and reeds for weaving.
The surrounding scrub also contained possums, the skins of which were sewn together by Aboriginal people to make winter cloaks. Aboriginal people gathered these foods using implements of wood, stone, bone and shell, such as fish hooks, multi-pronged fishing spears, barbed hunting spears, wooden clubs and shields, non-returning boomerangs, ground stone axes, vessels of wood and bark and woven net bags.
Way of life for coastal Aboriginal tribes around Sydney changed dramatically with the arrival of the British. UNSW main campus is situated in a region that was the epicentre of dispossession. While the nature of the settlement/invasion of Australia is contested because the laws of settlement for this time are murky, the first nations at the national constitutional convention at Uluru in 2017 decided to label it an invasion. British arrivals fought with the Aboriginal people for territory, setting up outposts in and around Kensington (fig. 5).