Here is a new booklet with an invitation to join in! We particularly welcome responses from Aboriginal readers.Present State Final

This booklet takes a look at Robert Dawson’s encounters with the First Australians in the 1820s. Dawson was the first Chief Agent of the Australian Agricultural Company, but he was sacked within a few years of being appointed. One of the main reasons for his sacking was that the Company thought he had spent too much time with the local Aboriginal population of the Port Stephens area.

The booklet is full of Dawson’s interactions with indigenous people and it seems that many of the features of the relationships between Aboriginal and European Australians had their beginnings back then.

How to participate?

If you know any oral history that reflects the things that Dawson has written about here or in his full book The Present State of Australia (available free as an e-book on Google Books), let us know by making a comment. We’ll include your comments in the next version.

About aacoroad

This is the blog for The Old AACompany Road from Karuah to Tahlee. It contains information about walks on the road, history and other information.
This entry was posted in Historical Background, Robert Dawson, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Stephen Ticehurst says:

    You probably are aware, but there is also an account of the early days by Scott, the son of an AA employee. It was written later in his life, but he was there from his birth in the 1840s for 30 years

    Scott W The Port Stephens Blacks Recollections of William Scott 1929 prepared by Gordon Bennett- Dungog Chronicle’s Office, Dungog
    digitised at
    (Bennett Gordon 1982 The Port Stephens Blacks:Recollection of William Scott 2nd edition Newcastle Cambridge Press PTy Ltd

    • aacoroad says:

      Yes, Robert Dawson’s book is from 1826, so makes it a really valuable book. We have just finished transcribing Dawson’s 1826 journey to Gloucester with its detailed descriptions of flora and fauna onto modern maps. This will finally allow a unique comparison of 1826 country with the present. I’ll be publishing the draft of thei fantastic work by geographer Garry Worth shortly.

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