Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February 19 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1810 - Edward Luttrell Jnr, a ship’s officer and son of Surgeon Edward Luttrell, shot Pemulwuy’s son ‘Tidbury’ (Tedbury or Tjedboro) in the face during an argument at Parramatta. [1]

1836 - British Parliament officially proclaimed the colony of South Australia and formally defined its boundaries.
King William IV recognised the continued rights to land for Aboriginal people in South Australia's founding document, the Letters Patent. It was the first ever recognition of Aboriginal rights granted in Australia's colonial history. But the promise of legal entitlement to the land was never kept. [2]

1856 - Exotic dancer Lola Montez - who was neither Spanish nor a trained dancer -was greatly displeased with a bad review written by the editor of the Ballarat Times, [3] Henry Seekamp (who was the only man to serve a prison term as a result of the Eureka Stockade for printing seditious libel [4]), about her.
So she took to him with a horse whip.
Totally justified, Your Honour...!

1892 - Eileen O'Connor, the next possible Aussie saint, was delivered by the stork [5] in Richmond (colloquially known as Struggletown, but originally known as Quo-yung [6]), Melbourne.
She was yet another ballsy gal who took on Rome to establish Our Lady's Nurses For The Poor.

1894 - The Sydney Anarchy Trial found several well-known chappies were a bit naughty for flogging editions of the anarchist newspaper Hard Cash that cast aspersions upon trustees of the Savings Bank of NSW. 
Tsk tsk tsk. 
Because banks are always so trust-worthy during a depression... aren't they?
Of course two chappies in particular were let off the hook...future NSW Premier Jack Lang and future Prime Minister Billy Hughes. [7]

1913 - Today Henry Leo Crawford aka Eugenia Falleni went through a marriage ceremony with Annie Birkett (Henry's future murder victim) at the Methodist Parsonage, Balmain South. [8]
1942 - Darwin was bombed twice  on this day with deaths far exceeding the originally quoted 15 and the later revised 243. [9]

1942 - A Japanese Zero crash-landed on Melville Island to Darwin’s north, and its pilot was captured by a local  Tiwi Islander man named Matthias Ulungura snuck up behind the Japanese pilot with a tomahawk and said,
 'Stick 'em up!'— the first prisoner of war taken on Australian soil. [10]

1942 - During the Bombing of Darwin the first wave of 188 Japanese planes was spotted by Father John McGrath, a Catholic priest at the mission station on Bathurst Island. Father McGrath sent a message on the radio saying,
 "An unusually large air formation bearing down on us from the northwest". Nearly everyone ignored this, though it was on the most popular radio station. About an hour later there were roughly 100 people dead, but the people who followed his instruction all survived. [11]

1942 - Following the Bombing of Darwin many Aboriginal people were relocated to 'control camps' and restrictions were placed on Aboriginal movement, especially women. 
In Arnhem Land Aboriginal people made up special reconnaissance units in defence against the Japanese.
The United Church in North Australia set up an Aboriginal mission on Elcho Island, Northern Territory. [12]

1951 -Jean Lee was Hanged at Pentridge for the murder of 'Pop' Kent in Dorrit Street Carlton. Jean Lee was the last woman executed in Australia. [13]

1965 - The Freedom Rides Moree, home of the Gamilaraay people, Friday 19 & Saturday 20 February

“On the radio we heard that aboriginal children had been demonstrating outside the Moree baths for the last two afternoons, which was terrific news. All of us are very determined that we are doing the right thing despite the mayor's warning over the radio that our return would cause harm.” 
Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides
“We went down to the mission with a few of the students in the bus and we explained to some older Aborigines. Then we went to one particular road in town where a lot of Aborigines live. They were the ‘upper-class adult Aborigines and they did not want anything to do with us at all…So we went back to speak to the young Aboriginal people on the mission: ‘Yeah we’ll support ya!’”
 Quote from Charles Perkins, A Bastard Like Me.
“Charlie started talking to the crowd, but there was a lot of hissing and booing. Then he went to the front of the line and when he refused to move was grabbed and taken away from the line.” 
Ann Curthoy’s diary from the Freedom Rides [14]

1966 - Aussie gal Heather McKay won her fifth successive British squash title. [15]

1993 - The people of Bourke paid homage to renowned eye specialist Professor Fred Hollows. His coffin was draped with the Nepalese and Eritrean flags as well as an Aboriginal Commemorative Blanket. [16]

1997 - Greens Senator Dee Margetts moved an amendment designed to make the government’s Native Title Amendment Bill wholly subject to the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). [17]

1998 - Zali Steggall broke the drought and took home the first individual Winter Olympic medal for the Aussies when she won Bronze for the downhill slalom. [18]

1998 -  Queensland’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Economic Development Strategy was released by Economic Development and Trade Minister. [19]

1999 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister, John Herron, unveiled proposed areas for which eligible organisations would be invited to apply for recognition as Representative Bodies under the amended Native Title Act 1993. [20]

2002 - Central Queensland University (CQU) and ATSIC’s Central Queensland Regional Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding, the first of its kind between an Indigenous peak body and a Queensland university. [21]

 2003 - The Australian Film Commission (AFC) launched Skin, Kin and Country: Stories from Black Australia, five new documentaries directed by Indigenous filmmakers. [22]


[1]  http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/d5225154-9208-41f1-9006-8a971b94e0b4/back09b.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

[2]  https://www.southaustralianhistory.com.au/landtitle.htm

[3]  https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/how-spider-dancer-lola-montezs-war-of-the-whip-inflamed-ballarats-dusty-goldfields/news-story/301373dc93ee8a9503f5e08065d0e993

[4]  http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/seekamp-henry-13188

[5]  http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/oconnor-eily-rosaline-eileen-7875

[6]  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-10/the-aboriginal-names-for-ten-melbourne-suburbs/9960092

[7]  https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/bitstream/2123/847/12/adt-NU20020722.19202506chapter5.pdf

[8]  http://womenaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/falleni-eugenia-12911

[9] https://www.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/about%20dva/media-centre/media-backgrounder/P02087R%20Australia%20under%20attack_FINAL.pdf

[10]  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-25/riseman---remembering-aboriginal-diggers/3971728

[11]  https://teachnt.com/our-remote-schools

[12]  https://aiatsis.gov.au/exhibitions/remembering-mission-days

[13]  http://womenaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/lee-jean-10804

[14]  https://aiatsis.gov.au/exhibitions/1965-freedom-ride

[15]  https://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/sg/mckay.html

[16]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

[17]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

[18]  https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/australias-zali-steggall-hits-a-gate-19-february-in-the-news-photo/93893020

[19]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

[20]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

[21]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

[22]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

Monday, February 18, 2019

February 18 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1883 - Jessie Litchfield, a fantastically inspirational woman, was found in the tulip patch. She was an author, poet, Aussie and international journalist and editor of a NT newspaper, who helped push tourism in the Top End.

1965 - The Freedom Ride reached Tenterfield home of the Marbal people;

“There we heard from Bob Brown that they day after we left Moree (yesterday) about 60 aboriginal children tried to get in the pool after school. Up to 5.30 about 30 were allowed in, some with Bob Brown, others not. At 5.30 pm the manager refused to allow any more aborigines in and at 6pm the baths were closed (usually they stay open till 8pm). The baths opened again at 7pm and soon after this the mayor stated that the segregationalist statute of June 6th 1955 would be enforced.” - Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides.

“We decided, after much heated discussion, to go straight to Inverell, thus leaving out Tabulam... From there we would go straight to Moree and take strong action of some kind, such as a 24hr picket or something. The decision was unanimous.” - Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides.

1966 - The Canberra Times reported that Charles Perkins, in his role as Manager of the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs, had stated that unless funds were donated the foundation would be forced to close within three months.

1989 - The Oh So Fabulously Wonderfully Out There Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras was celebrated with an estimated 200,000 peeps whilst the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence carried forth a platter on which the head of raging right-wing fundamentalist bible thumping God botherer Fred Nile lounged.

1992 - The Aboriginal Children’s Kindergarten opened in Hobart.

1999 -  A native title agreement was signed by members of the Analway, Dthungutti and Gumbaynggirr Aboriginal Nations, and Hillgrove Mining.

1999 - Three young Indigenous Queenslanders were awarded $5,000 scholarships from the Queensland Department of Main Roads.

 2003 - Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Judy Spence approved $10,000 funding to support an exhibition of the Indigenous art of Cape York.

2006 - The Pride History Group launched its new comprehensive history web site.











Sunday, February 17, 2019

February 17 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1803 - Matthew Flinders met up with some Malay Praus (ships) from Macassar near Cape Arnhem and discovered that there were 60 ships trading with the Aboriginal people as they fished for trepang and that this was a very long established practice. [1]

1805 - Thomas Brown, a free settler, was sent to the Parramatta gaol for striking an Aborigine [sic]. [2]

1815 - Thomas Hassall reported that the ‘Cundorah’ (Gundungurra) had attacked Macarthur’s farm at Camden. [3]

1816 - The Sydney Gazette shared on its front page that the first Ceylonese family banished to Australia had arrived on board HM Kangaroo. [4]

1846 - The free Aborigines on Flinders Island in Bass Strait wrote a petition addressed to Queen Victoria concerning the mistreatment of indigenous people. [5]

1848 - The magnificent Mater of Henry Lawson, Louisa Lawson, was pupped today. [6]

1873 - There was Russian-phobia running amok in both Oz and NZ, but the editor of the Daily Southern Cross newspaper used his imagination to cook a hoax about the supposed Russian invasion of Auckland from the ship Kaskowiski (cask of whisky) who nabbed the gold and the Mayor. [7]

1881 - The Taranaki Herald was being very diplomatic when it quietly announced that the Aussies had been knocked over after a pitiful 154 runs (and no sandpaper in sight!). [8]

1885 - Author of a somewhat dubious tome about Aboriginal people Daisy Bates was a little absent-minded today when she got legally hitched to John Bates, a drover.
I say absent-minded as she seems to have forgotten that she was already married to Breaker Morant.
S'ok, she had another brain fart 4 months later and got married for a 3rd time. [9]

1942 - Margaret Lilian Jeffrey, NSW Policewoman, was commended by Police Commissioner William MacKay for the capable and tactful manner with which she had treated a woman who was assaulted on the North Coast mail train in the previous September. [10]

1958 - At a meeting in Adelaide, activists from all mainland states formed a national pressure group: the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement (FCAA). Its goal was the achievement of 'equal citizens' rights' for Aboriginal Australians. The first two goals of this new body were:

1. Repeal of all legislation, federal and state, which discriminated against the Aborigines.
2. Amendment to the Commonwealth Constitution to give the Commonwealth government power to legislate for Aborigines as with all other citizens. [11]

1965 - The Freedom Rides reached Boggabilla, on the border between the homes of the Bigambul and Gamilaraay people.
“We went around and spoke to a lot of people. Many of them told us that the manager had told them not to answer our questions, but they intended to do so anyway.” 
 Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides
“The houses were weatherboard and very overcrowded. There was not water on, but the river water was taken to taps in the yard. There was no gas or anything, and no electricity (I think). Very often there weren't windows and doors.”
Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides
“We heard some terrible stories such as the fact that the police came in the houses without knocking whenever they liked, to find out who had been drinking. Also they "did what they liked with the women".” 
 Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides [12]

1965 - The Canberra Times [13] and Sydney Morning Herald [14] reported on the Freedom Ride bus crash in which a truck had run the bus off the road after two unsuccessful attempts.

1965 - Thirty Aboriginal school children were allowed entry to the Moree swimming pool after Sydney University students protested against racism. The university students were members of the Action for Aborigines Council led by Charles Perkins. [15]

1987 - The Coffs Harbour Aboriginal Family Community Care Centre Inc. aka Abcare was incorporated on this day. [16]

1990 - Today saw the Oh So Fabulously Wonderful Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras flouncing its frilly bits in all of her technicolour glory.
Featuring the first ever Mardi Gras Fair Day held in Glebe’s Jubilee Park it attracted 1,000 people and featured the first Dog Show plus touch football, mud wrestling and a meet-and-greet with the Dykes on Bikes. [17]

1999 -  The Townsville, ATSIC Regional Council, called for ‘urgent action’ by the police and the State Government in a bid to prevent more attacks on Aboriginal people in Townsville parks before someone died. [18]
2002 - Alisa Camplin won gold in the women's aerial skiing contest. [19]

2010 - We lost the magnificent songstress, Aunty Ruby Hunter. [20]

2014 - Peaceful protests by asylum seekers detained in the Manus Island facility turned into a violent riot. Security guards and police stormed the facility attacking asylum seekers, including people who had not been involved in the protests. One asylum seeker, Reza Berati, was beaten to death and over 60 others were injured, some of them seriously. [21]

2014 - Dental staff and services commenced on this day at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service Inc, NSW. [22]


[1]  https://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p241301/html/ch12.xhtml?referer=294&page=14

[2]  http://nationalunitygovernment.org/pdf/2014/incidents-aboriginal-colonisers-1792-1809.pdf

[3]  http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/d5225154-9208-41f1-9006-8a971b94e0b4/back09b.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

[4]  https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/492986

[5]  http://ia.anu.edu.au/biography/arthur-walter-george-12775

[6]  http://womenaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/lawson-louisa-7121

[7]  http://airminded.org/2008/05/30/the-russians-are-coming/

[8]  https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TH18810218.2.9

[9]  http://womenaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/bates-daisy-may-83

[10]  http://womenaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/jeffrey-margaret-lilian-10618

[11]  https://indigenousrights.net.au/civil_rights/the_warburton_ranges_controversy,_1957/birth_of_a_federal_movement

[12]  https://aiatsis.gov.au/exhibitions/1965-freedom-ride

[13]  http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/news/1960s/ct17feb65.pdf

[14]  http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/news/1960s/smh17feb65b.pdf

[15]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

[16]  http://www.abcare.org.au/

[17]  http://www.mardigras.org.au/history

[18]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

[19]  http://olympics.com.au/athlete/alisa-camplin/news

[20]  https://www.portrait.gov.au/people/ruby-hunter-1955

[21]  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-18/one-dead-77-injured-in-manus-island-unrest/5265960

[22]  https://www.armajun.org.au/history.php

Saturday, February 16, 2019

February 16 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1856 - Infamous Lola Montez opened at Ballarat in a series of sketches; greeted by packed houses she invited miners to shower nuggets at her feet as she danced. [1]

1881 - (Lady) Alice Maud Sewell was born; was the first woman to win the Wyselaskie scholarship in classical and comparative philology and logic. With Ethel Osborne, she was a founder of the Lyceum Club, Melbourne. Active in the Country Women's Association, she chaired the handicrafts and home industries committee in 1937-40, and was appointed a member of honour. She was also a member of the Victoria League and the Ormond Women's Association. In 1937 she was awarded the Coronation medal. [2]

1952 - Former Police Tracker Sergeant Isaac Grovenor, 52 year veteran of the NSW Police and recipient of the Imperial Service Medal passed. As a token of respect the Commissioner of Police, Mr. J. F. Scott, provided a mounted police escort to lead the funeral cortege from the funeral parlours in Crown Street along a portion of the route to the cemetery. Mrs. Grovenor and family expressed their deep thanks for the Commissioner’s kindness in providing the mounted escort and those of us who were so closely associated with ‘Ike’ at the Police Depot and elsewhere know how the kindly old gentleman would have appreciated such a tribute from the Department to which he rendered such valuable and lengthy service. [3]

1965 - The Freedom Rides reached Moree home of the Gamilaraay people.
“The mission had much better housing etc. than we'd seen anywhere, but there was a manager in control who was apparently very disliked and seemed rather unpleasant.”
Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides

“We did the picket, but nobody much came around, and we all boiled, it was very hot. Then we went to the swimming pool. The manager refused to let the six aboriginals in and so we held up our posters and signs. After about 25 mins they let the boys in. Then Charlie arrived with a bus load of 21 aboriginal boys and they had to be all let in.”
Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides

“We went back to the hall, had tea, and then went off to the Memorial Hall for the public meeting we'd arranged. There were over 200 people there and at first the atmosphere was very hostile, with lots of jeering and interjection."
Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides

“Jim Spigelman spoke first, about who we were and how we came to be there. Then John Powles, on the survey. Then Charlie. The questions were sometimes antagonistic but there were some very sympathetic ones too. Then a Mr Kelly got up and moved that the clause in the statute books about segregation in the swimming pool be removed. This was seconded by Bob Brown, and accepted 88 votes to 10. We were all thrilled to bits."
Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides. [4]

1971 - Lady Alice Maud Sewell died at Berwick. [5]

1973 - Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman aka "Our Cathy" Freeman, was born today at Slade Point, Mackay, Queensland. [6]

1980 - The Bloomfield River Mission, near Cape York, QLD, was officially renamed Wujal Wujal.
‘Wujal Wujal’ or ‘many falls’ is derived from the local language. There are several Indigenous languages spoken within this community. [7]

1983 - Over 100 fires started today, the day now known as Ash Wednesday. [8]

1999 - Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Chairperson Evelyn Scott presented the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, with a copy of the Draft Document for Reconciliation. [9]
2015 - To commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Freedom Rides the Moree Plains Gallery celebrated with a photo exhibition featuring a collection of photos captured by the Tribune newspaper during the historical 1965 Freedom Ride (photos kindly donated by Search Foundation Exhibition) which ran for three weeks. [10]

2018 - The Australian Bureau of Statistics announced in a media release that;
"The 2016 Census of Population and Housing reveals that more than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young adults are fully engaged in work and study.
Fifty two per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 24 years are fully participating in either education or work, up from 46 per cent in 2006. Those living in urban areas (55 per cent) are more likely to be fully engaged in work or study than those living in non-urban areas (42 per cent)." [11]


[1]  http://womenaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/montez-lola-4226

[2]  http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE6083b.htm#_edn1

[3]  http://ia.anu.edu.au/biography/grovenor-isaac-ike-15561

[4]  https://aiatsis.gov.au/exhibitions/1965-freedom-ride

[5]  http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE6083b.htm#_edn1

[6]  https://www.britannica.com/biography/Cathy-Freeman

[7]  https://www.qld.gov.au/atsi/cultural-awareness-heritage-arts/community-histories/community-histories-u-y/community-histories-wujal-wujal

[8]  https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/history-and-incidents/ash-wednesday-1983

[9]  https://qram.com.au/black-jocks/february-jocks/

[10]  https://www.moreechampion.com.au/story/2878855/freedom-rides-50th-anniversary-whats-on/

[11]  http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbytitle/4335345D87F9711FCA257AC2001A4ABF?OpenDocument