Billy Cooley

Billy Cooley is a descendant of Thomas Ulladulla, ‘keeper of the ocean’ on the South Coast. Many of his family have been professional fishermen using knowledge of the ocean environment to harvest and protect stocks of sea-life using traditional practices and knowledge. Billy’s great-uncle, Thomas Charles Cooley rescued a woman drowning in dangerous surf on 16 January, 1918 at Port Kembla and received an award. Billy learned traditional fishing practices from his father during seasonal trips up and down the coast. He also connected with family during these times. Billy continues to help manage ocean resources and now helps young Aboriginal people to connect with their kinship groups and country during camps down the coast.

Listen to Billy’s Interview


Fishing – Aboriginal Culture – Connection To Country – La Perouse – Port Kembla – Spirituality – Murramarang – Batemans Bay – Ulladulla – Ghadoo – Keeper Of The Ocean – Betsy Licey – John Owens – Pigeon House Mountain – Orient Point – Roseby Park – Greenwell Point – Lindsay Pender – Bomaderry Boys Home – Nowra – Glen Tabak – Simms – Botanical Gardens – Timbery – Yarra Bay – Botany Bay – Seafood – Coobyar – Figtree – Aboriginal Development Commission – Matraville High

The audio file of Billy’s interview can be downloaded here.

Transcript of Billy’s interview

PDF Transcript of Billy Cooley’s Interview

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Billy’s Photo Album