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Community Recognition Statement - Frances Bodkin Ferry Named

14 May, 2024.

I was delighted to join Frances Bodkin, Gawaian and their family and friends, including Aunty Karen Adams, to officially launch and commemorate the first ferry in Sydney's new Parramatta River class fleet. Transport for NSW has announced the name of the ferry in honour of a long-term local resident of Wollondilly. It is called the Frances Bodkin. The ferry naming recognises Frances Bodkin's immense contribution to botany, environment education and the preservation of Indigenous knowledge through community engagement.

Frances is a D'harawal Elder of the Bidjigal clan, who has worked extensively to scientifically observe and record Indigenous culture and knowledge of flora and fauna. She is a botanist, scientist and educator who has dedicated much of her life to the sharing and preserving of Indigenous knowledge. Ancestral knowledge passed down from her mother, who spoke to her in language, is recorded in Frances' publications, including Encyclopaedia Botanica: The Essential Reference Guide to Native and Exotic Plants in Australia, which documents over 11,000 native Australian plants and D'harawal seasons and climatic cycles.