In 1770 the first encounter between British and Aboriginal people on the east coast of Australia occurred at Botany Bay. For the British it heralded the beginning of endless possibility for Empire. For Aboriginal people it marked the beginning of the decimation of an ancient culture. The traditional country of these people, the Dharawal were the coastal lands from Botany Bay to the Shoalhaven district and some distance inland.
Local historian Bruce Watt offers an interpretation of the first contact between the Dharawal people and the white settlers including the area now known as Sutherland Shire.