Birpai Nation:

Information on the Birpai peoples is fragmentary and at this point there is no definitive work on their history or culture. The following links are to websites containing information on the Birpai or to scans of articles or book sections that the library has collected.

N.B. There are a number of variant spellings of the name Birpai. References also appear in the literature to Biripi, Birripai, Bripi, Biripai, Birrbay etc.  



Aboriginal Stories of the Mid-North Coast 

Click on the Aboriginal Stories logo.
From the  Legendary Pacific Coast website.



Birpai Yarns

Birpai Yarns: Listening, Learning and Writing the Next Chapter

Birpai Yarns’ is a joint story telling project between schools and community. Sharing the history of our elders whilst practicing a variety of literacy skills.

Miscellaneous Documents


The documents below are an attempt to collect and present the available published literature on the Birpai people. They need to be read in the historical context of the times they were written in and therefore some do not reflect contemporary cultural values and sensitivities.

Language & Culture  

A Biripi word list - From 'The Australian Race: No. 186-Port Macquarie'
Birpai Word List - from 'The land of the Ulitarra' by J.S.Ryan 
A handbook of Aboriginal languages of New South Wales - Ch. 6 Hunter - Hastings Languages 
Some Aboriginal Place Names on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales -  J.S.Ryan 1963-4
About Native LanguageSome words and their meanings  (source unknown) 
Biripi Words of the Hastings and the Manning - in 'E M Curr and the Tide of History' ANU Press 2013 
Gadhang (Kattang) Language Revitalisation - Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-Operative
The Birripai of the Manning: an Aboriginal Studies Unit for Secondary Schools - 1991
Two fish traps located on the mid-north coast of New South Wales - by Valerie Campbell (1978)
Social divisions of the Birripai - By W. J. Enright (1932) 
Totems of the Biripi
Indigenous Australians using Trees and Timber - Some Timber Stories of the Hastings by Elaine van Kempen (2003)
Wauchope High School Aboriginal Writings
- General Skills course (1987) The work of 18 students
Notes on the Aborigines of the North Coast of N.S.W.(1940) by W.J. Enright
The Kattang (Kutthung) or Worimi: an Aboriginal Tribe by W.J. Enright Manking March 1932
Pacific Highway Upgrade-Moorland to Herons Creek EIS: Cultural heritage Assessment (2004)



'The Biripi - A History since 1827' - from 'Town and Country': a history of the Manning Valley (Solling,2014)
Tindale's 1974 map of Aboriginal boundaries- North Coast extract
North Coast Women: a history to 1939
 - Baiba Berzins (1996)
Aboriginal Heritage of the North Coast ~ a discussion paper
 - NSW Dept of Planning. 1989
Baal Belbora: the end of the dancing -  Geoffrey Blomfield (1986)
The Kattang (Katthung) or Worimi: an Aboriginal TribeW.J.Enright
'The Aborigines at Port Macquarie' -  Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany Vol. 26 1838 pp224-225
Her Story: searching for the Lost Women of the Two Rivers
 - The First Women of the Two Rivers (Matthews 2005)
Ngaku and Ngamba : the early Hastings residents - Express May 22, 1985
Aboriginal references in the book ''A town called Port'  by John Moyes
'Early local Aborigines' notes from Wauchope District Historical Society
Muloobinbah: the contribution of Aboriginal people to the resources of the Hunter Region                  by John Heath (1998)
History preserved in photographic collection (Thomas Dick) Port Macquarie News 23 March 1981
Middle Brother: the Aboriginal connection by Jennie Kerr (see annotations by Les Ridgeway)
'Aborigines were tough on women' Port Macquarie News 29 January 1979
Timeline of Aboriginal people around Wauchope - source: Hastings District Historical Society
Recollections of Some Australian Blacks written in 1844


Health & Welfare

Two ways Together: Regional Report - North Coast (2006)
This report gathers data about Aboriginal people and the government services provided to them in the North Coast region of NSW.


General Documents

Uncle Bill O'Brien - Birpai elder
The Up River murders   Port Macquarie News June 29, 1981
Cricketers of yore - Port Macquarie news September 17, 1979
"By gum she's right" (fish trap at Point Plomer) - Port Macquarie News March 18, 1979
Aborigines' Week puts focus on sacred sites - Port Macquarie News July 8, 1981
"Bunyah Jimmy" King of the Hastings River - Hastings gazette 1983
Those Blacks - Port Macquarie News February 1892
Thomas Dick - Port Macquarie News March 23, 1981
Three Birroguns reflected in Aboriginal dreamtime - Port Macquarie News January 19, 1998
Heritage Report - The Three Brothers Mountains
The Brothers Three...behind the names -
Camden Haven Courier 23.12.1981
Map of the Hastings region Aboriginal nations -
by J.H. Watson 1984
Charlie "King Murri" - (no source)
Blackfellow - good spirit of the Hastings River -
Hastings Gazette 1983
Land handover pleases Mayor (Christmas Bells Plain) Camden Haven Courier 8 December 1999