This is an early shield from New South Wales, likely made before 1850. The species of wood has not been identified. It is made of a hard wood with a short bent stick placed into the back to form a handle. The stick would have been flexible when first used, but hardened as it dried. Aboriginal people of New South Wales used such shields in defensive combat. Some shields have holes in the front where they have deflected a spear. Many early colonists in New South Wales sent such artefacts back to England, or brought them ‘home’ if they returned to England.