Coomee Nulunga was a Murramarang woman, born on Yuin country on the South Coast of NSW in the late 1820s. She remembered how her grandmother talked of seeing the ‘great white birds’ arrive decades earlier, a description of what Lieutenant James Cook’s ship would have looked like from the shore as he sailed up the eastern coast in 1770.
Coomee witnessed the arrival of British settlers in the 1830s and 40s
Sickness was the true scourge of the pioneers, with diphtheria, convulsions, scarlet fever and measles often causing the deaths of young children. Many women also died from complications of childbirth as there were no doctors. When Sarah Claydon arrived in Milton-Ulladulla in 1851, she began to care for those in her community who needed her most.
Bernard Brown, ancestor of a number of Milton Ulladulla residents, arrived in NSW as a free settler in November, 1848. His diaries, diligently maintained for well over two decades, were treasured by his descendants and later passed on to the Mitchell library. They have been a valuable resource for researching the history of the Shoalhaven District. Being of humble birth and having limited education, his writing, spelling and punctuation make deciphering his diaries a little like reading hieroglyphics.
The first reference to any feature of the country within a radius of 20 miles of Ulladulla was made by Captain James Cook aboard HMS Endeavour while on his voyage north along the Australian east coast. Two days after his discovery of that coast, at 7am on 21 April 1770, he noted in his private log on 22 April 1770**