Cooks River project

The Cooks River was the ‘fine freshwater stream’ that Captain Cook wrote about in his account of the landing at Botany Bay and remarked on the ‘fine meadows’ along the banks of the river.  The Dictionary of Sydney’s ‘fine stream … fine meadow’ project  encompasses  fourteen stories that connect to the Cooks River as it flows through to Botany Bay.

In partnership with three local council areas, the City of Botany Bay, Marrickville Council and the City of Canterbury,  the Dictionary engaged local researchers, authors and historians to document some of the significant buildings, the people and the events that have shaped the stories of theCooks River in south-west Sydney.

In 2013, the resulting articles were published after being professionally edited, enhanced with multimedia images and depictions of the area, and fully linked and integrated into the Dictionary’s website. The articles can be viewed here.

This project was supported through funding from the Australian Government’s ‘Your Community Heritage Program‘ and our primary sponsor, the City of Sydney.


Entries in the Cooks River project:

The Dictionary of Sydney would like to thank all the authors, institutions and multimedia donors who contributed to this project.  We would especially like to thank Brian Madden and the Cooks River Alliance for allowing us to publish works by the late Lesley Muir whose essays on this part of Sydney’s history form the centrepiece of our project.


From Mud Bank Botany Bay – mouth of Cooks River 1830, Courtesy Dixson Library, State Library of NSW DL PXX 31, 2a


Detail from MS Hill's 1888 map 'The City of Sydney',  a birds-eye view over the city looking to the south and west across Darling Harbour. http://dictionaryofsydney.org/image/97526

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