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date: 16 January 2021


The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature

William H. Wilde,

Joy Hooton,

Barry Andrews


(also spelt coolabah, koolibah and coolybar) is the Aboriginal name for a eucalypt tree common in the Australian inland. It was on a coolibah that Brahe carved the word ‘Dig’ to inform Burke and Wills that their stores were buried there. It was under the shade of a coolibah in A. B. Paterson's ‘Waltzing Matilda’ that the ‘Jolly Swagman’ camped, and ‘in the shade where the coolibahs grow’ that the Dying Stockman wished to be buried.