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Emma Timbery. Aboriginal mother to blacks – and whites.

Emma Timberery was born to Betsey, an Aboriginal woman from Liverpool; and Jimmy Lowndes, a Dharawal man. (His may have been a white man, named Lowndes, working on William Macarthur’s estate in Camden. And, it’s said, he’d been hidden rom tribesmen wanting to wipe out “half-castes” like him, by a senior Dharwal man, called Bradbury.)  Full Article…


William Cooper, John Needham and the Creation of NAIDOC

After some promising discussions with Prime Minister Joseph Lyons in the late 1930s, it became clear to William Cooper and his colleagues at the Australian Aborigines’ League that the federal government was not going to do anything for the Indigenous cause. The cabinet was stonewalling the Petition to the King. The message came back to  Full Article…


Joan Kingsley-Strack Lectures the Judge

She was a good North Shore housewife. A church-goer with a country lady’s sensibilities. And she was a royal pain in the posterior to the Aboriginal Protection Board. Joan Kingsely-Strack was a friend of Pearl Gibbs and William Ferguson. A friendship that began when she attended the “1937 New South Wales Select Committee Enquiry into  Full Article…


When the Aborigines fought for the the Missionary

Between 1913 and 1914 the residents of the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Station waged a campaign to allow Caroline Bulmer, the widow of their late missionary, to remain on the station with them. Preparing two separate petitions, the first to the Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines, and the second to the Governor of Victoria,  Full Article…


William Ferguson returns

William Ferguson had been born at Darlington Point. Nearing the end of his life, he was giving Aboriginal people of that district the voice they never had.



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…


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…


“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…


“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…