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Archive | March, 2013

Moonahcullah

As settlement impacted the Wemba Wemba people in the Victorian era, many found refuge in the Werai forests. In the late 1870s some 80 Aboriginal people moved to missions and reserves in the surrounding area, particularly at Moonahcullah. It’s also possible that many Indigenous people moved there from the Lake Boga Mission, a Moravian ministry  Full Article…

Petition to the King – the Commonwealth is stumped

We might say William Cooper was the cat, and the entire Executive and Bureaucratic branches of the Commonwealth were the pigeons. As these documents from the National Archives of Australia show. The business, started with William Cooper and his Australian Aborigines’ League. Cooper had initiated the collection of signatures as early as 1933. No doubt  Full Article…

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Shadrach Livingstone James: scholar, orator, man’s man

The article published in the Riverine Herald on January 13, 1915, states the case as follows: A BUSH FIGHT DIFFERENCES SETLED IN THE RING At the Nathalia Police Court on Mon- day, Messers F. Furza and M. Muntz, J’s.P., on tho Bench, Shadrach James was charged with unlawfully assaulting Arthur Nelson 26th December last. Senior-Constable  Full Article…

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“White and aboriginal evangelists”

The very word “evangelist” evokes the picture of a white man. But for most of Australia’s modern history, they’ve been black and white. Even in the early days of Maloga, many Aboriginals chose to become teachers of the Gospel of Jesus, sent out with full authority to spread the good news. In the Normal Collection  Full Article…

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“The missionaries are the best help our people have”

Shadrach Livingstone James seems to have been a popular speaker in Melbourne, newspaper records showing he gave talks to student groups and churches. Here, he’s being reported on a speech he gave to a missionary conference. At this point, he may have returned to Maroopna, where his father, Thomas James had spent his last years.  Full Article…

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Negotiating with Government in the 1930s

The Australian Aborigines League was the very first Indigenous pressure group to win a direct audience with the Prime Minister. It seems it was made possible because few people could say no to Doug Nicholls. The article reads: ABORIGINES TO ASK FOR JUSTICE. Deputation to Mr. Lyons. FOOTBALLER AS LEADER. A deputation comprised entirely of  Full Article…

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James Page and the Nepabunna Mission

James or Jim Page gave everything to the Adnyamathanha people. You could say, he even gave his life, as you can see from this report by Nicola Gage on the ABC’s World Today, first broadcast on Friday, December 2, 2011 12:42:10 – please, note they incorrectly call him “John”. The community developed in to what  Full Article…

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Aboriginals as Saviours

The Reverend E. R. B. Gribble spent his younger years as a stockman. But he was persuaded by his father to help run the Mission. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, he writes what may be called a dissenting opinion. Challenging the common prejudice against Aboriginal capability. And doing so, not with theory, but with  Full Article…

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Contact on the Missions

It’s the accepted historical orthodoxy to say that Aboriginal missions were bad. Very bad. But we must be clear on our terms. What do we mean by a “mission”? It seems that there have been at least three types of places. Those that were 1. Government owned and government run with no Christian influence (Moorundie,  Full Article…

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White Criticism of the Maloga Mission

The Maloga Mission, started by Janet and Daniel Matthews was frequently criticised, and sometimes condemned, by the White establishment. Sometimes, even by Christians, and those who claimed to be sympathetic to the church. In this thought-piece from the West Australian in 1885, one of the big things Mr Matthews gets wrong is, apparently, the muddle  Full Article…

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