born in Coburg Melbourne, moving to the Northern Territory
in 1949 at age of 16, in search of work and adventure. In his early years with the Department f Aboriginal Affairs he was
mainly in the bush, and engaged in jobs like stockwork and crocodile hunting while employed as a patrol officer and reserve
Superintendent. Later he was a teacher at bush schools.
awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in the 1991 Honors List for services to the Aboriginal People and for ‘an ongoing
contribution to the literary heritage of Australia
through song and verse’ and then appointed an AO in 2004. He was a member of the first Reconciliation Council.
a prolific writer and performer of contemporary folk songs. Many such as ‘Gurindji Blues’ recognize Indigenous
heritage. He is reportedly the man who introduced Rolf Harris to the song Two Little boys.
was recently listed amongst “Australia’s
National Living Treasures” by the National Trust of Australia.
was originally one of the founding members of the Works and Housing (now Nightcliff) football club in 1950 and played for
two seasons in which he played approximately 20 games for Works and Housing.
he was seconded by the then Bishop O’loughlin and asked to co- operate with Father Aubrey Collins to form the St Marys
express purpose of St Marys was to provide opportunities for Tiwi Island footballers (who worked in groups of around 40 at
the time for both the RAAF and Army) to play in the Darwin competition, as no other club except Wanderers would accept full
was elected Captain at the start of the 1952/53 season which was St Marys first year in the competition and played until 1955/56.
He played approximately 60 NTFL games and was captain of St Marys first premiership side in 1954/55. He played over half the
season of 1955/56 when he was sent bush and missed playing in St Marys premiership of that year. He is an Honory and Financial
life member of St Marys